History Repeats Itself Only This Time Around It Is a Dog as Opposed to a Cat That Has Her Head Nearly Blown Off by Irish Punks with a Firecracker
"The entire bottom jaw was blown off. There was no bone left. It was just pulp. The injuries were horrific. She lost a huge amount of blood."
-- Orla Aungier of the Dublin SPCA
An act of animal cruelty was committed at 6:30 p.m. on September 15th on Cardiffbridge Road in the Dublin suburb of Finglas that was so horrific it is even painful to describe. On that occasion, a group of punks held down a small tan-colored female pet terrier believed to be between two and three years of age, fastened a firecracker in her mouth, and lit the fuse.
The blast was so powerful that it blew away all of her teeth and part of her face. "The entire bottom jaw was blown off. There was no bone left. It was just pulp," Orla Aungier of the Dublin SPCA (DSPCA) told the Irish Independent on September 17th. (See "Dog Put Down after Fireworks Savagery.") "The injuries were horrific. She lost a huge amount of blood." (See photo above of the dog after the attack.)
She was taken to a veterinarian who promptly finished off the job her attackers had begun. (See photo below.)
"There was no alternative but to put it to sleep," Aungier added. That is, of course, a debatable point even though the dog was without a doubt in unimaginable pain and in all likelihood had suffered brain damage and other internal injuries as well.
Through a liberal application of painkillers and antibiotics, emergency surgery, and intravenous fluids the veterinarian could have stabilized her condition and possibly even saved her life. Nevertheless, the cost of keeping her alive would have been astronomical, her recuperation lengthy, and her long-term prognosis uncertain.
The veterinarian perhaps made the correct decision but an attempt nonetheless should have been made in order to save her life. She could have been put out of her misery at a later date if her suffering had not abated by then.
So far, the dog's owner has not come forward in order to claim her remains and that is both sad and suspicious. Since dogs generally are not allowed to walk the streets alone, it thus would appear that her assailants either knew or stole her.
"We are in shock and appalled," Aungier told the Independent in the article cited supra. "It also highlights the danger of fireworks being so easily available, even though they are illegal."
As far as it is known, no arrests have been made in this disturbing case. A web page entitled Find the Thugs Who Set Fireworks Off in Dog's Mouth was established shortly after the attack but Facebook for some unexplained reason is not allowing it to be updated.
Nor has any additional information regarding the attack appeared in the Irish press. If past history is any guide, it is doubtful that either the police or the DSPCA are even bothering the investigate the dog's murder.
Far from being an isolated case, this type of unconscionable animal cruelty has occurred before in Ireland. For example, on October 29, 2008 a four- to five-year-old domestic cat named Sparkles was the victim of an identical attack outside The Old Ship bar at 44 Main Street in Arklow. (See photo of her below.)
Like the dog in Dublin, she was held down while a firecracker was rammed into her ear and fastened into place before being lit. The blast blew away her left ear and the back of her head.
Left deaf by the blast, she tenaciously clung to life for several weeks despite experiencing seizures and horrific pain. The staff at Avondale Veterinary Hospital ultimately decided to end her life also. (See Cat Defender posts of November 20, 2008, January 12, 2009, and January 25, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Trusting Domestic Cat Has Her Left Ear Blown Off with a Firecracker by Cretins Outside an Irish Bar," "Disoriented and Racked with Excruciating Pain, Seizures, and Infections, Sparkles Loses Her Long Struggle to Live," and "Sparkles, Who Was Forced to Pay the Ultimate Price for Belonging to the World's Most Abused Species, Tops the List of the Most Memorable Cats of 2008.")
No arrest ever was made in Sparkles' murder and it is highly unlikely that either the police or humane officials even attempted to find her killers. Both cat and dog lovers can only hope that public pressure now will force them to do what they should have done back then.
After all, since Arklow is only seventy-one kilometers south of Dublin it is conceivable that the same group of no-good, rotten scumbags are responsible for both animals' deaths. Should that ever be proven to be the case, the authorities through their dereliction of duty would be every bit as much to blame for the dog's death as her attackers.
Incidents of animal cruelty rarely occur in a vacuum. Individuals who abuse a cat or a dog usually have assaulted others as well and, quite often, even individuals. It is not always possible to connect all the dots and thus establish a pattern of abuse and violence but it nevertheless usually is present.
Despite all of that, humane officials and the law enforcement community cannot be stirred with a stick. It therefore is time that they were replaced by new organizations that are committed to ending animal abuse.
Whereas animal cruelty is at epidemic proportions everywhere, it is especially bad in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. For example, on February 22nd of this year ten punks fed a seven-month-old kitten named Bailey to a lurcher in Strabane, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
As far as it is known, no arrests have been made in that case either. Additionally, organized gangs have been stealing cats and feeding them to lurchers for years in the Creggan, Waterside, and Shantallow sections of Londonderry.
Even though organized animal abuse should, at least in theory, be easier to stamp out that randomized attacks, the authorities in Londonderry steadfastly refuse to take action. (See Cat Defender post of March 24, 2010 entitled "Seven-Month-Old Bailey Is Fed to a Lurcher by a Group of Sadistic Teens in Search of Cheap Thrills in Northern Ireland.")
The authorities in Belfast likewise stood idly by twiddling their thumbs in June of 2009 when mobs of racist hooligans ran the Roma community out of the country. (See Belfast Telegraph, June 27, 2009, "Only Two Roma from One-Hundred-Fourteen Remain after Northern Ireland Race Shame.")
Being not only a quick study but evidently emboldened by the racists' success, Nicolas Sarkozy now has done the same thing to the Roma in France. (See Der Spiegel, September 15, 2010, "Sarkozy's War Against the Roma.")
The Irish's abiding love affair with the bottle also plays a role in their attacks upon cats. For example, on September 7, 2008 a drunk outside a bar in Limerick beat, stabbed, and threw a kitten to her death against the side of a house.
"It was only a fucking cat! What are you getting worried about?" he was overheard exclaiming to his drinking buddy afterwards. (See Cat Defender post of September 18, 2008 entitled "Drunken Brute Beats, Stabs, and Then Hurls Fifi to Her Death Against the Side of a House in Limerick.")
The rot in Ireland is by no means confined to punks and drunkards but rather extends to the higher echelons of society as well. For example, last year Birdwatch Ireland crowed, strutted, and preened like a vainglorious peacock after it had rounded up and exterminated all the homeless cats on Tory Island.
Apparently, the Irish do not think any more of slaughtering innocent cats en masse than they do of tossing off another pint of Guinness. At least that would appear to be the case in that the killings on Tory failed to engender a murmur of protest from the rest of the country. (See Cat Defender post of January 5, 2010 entitled "Tourists and Consumers Alike Should Boycott Ireland and Its Exports in Response to Its Extermination of the Homeless Cats on Tory Island.")
Even the DSPCA is unwilling to protect cats. For example, when it learned that pest control companies hired to remove and kill cats in and around Dublin instead were humanely sparing their lives by relocating them elsewhere Aungier was livid.
"We believe cats are being taken from one location to another and released. We recognize that colonies of stray cats can create problems when they start inbreeding and producing large numbers of kittens," she pontificated to The Times of London on September 14, 2008. (See "Stray Cats Being Dumped on Estates.") "But releasing them in another area just moves the problem."
The petit fait that hired killers have more compassion for cats than does the DSPCA is a staggering indictment of that phony-baloney organization. Furthermore, Aungier apparently dislikes dogs every bit as much as cats in that she refers to the dog recently killed as "it."
Neither humane officials nor the police in Ireland can any longer camouflage their gross dereliction of duty by hiding behind meaningless moral indignation and highfalutin rhetoric. What is needed is action, not more blarney.
The cretins responsible for killing this beautiful dog should be mercilessly hounded down and made to pay in spades for their monstrous crime. That is paramount not only in order to avenge the dog's death but to protect other cats and dogs as well.
Anyone who cares the tiniest bit about animals can only be sickened and angered by what was done both to this dog and to Sparkles. Moreover, there is something sorely lacking in any society that would not be willing to move mountains in order to get their assailants off the street and into permanent jail cells.
Photos: Irish Independent (murdered terrier) and Belfast Telegraph (Sparkles).