CALLOUS thieves thought to have beaten â€œa defenceless animalâ€ with a rake during a break-in in Thomondgate have left the home-owner â€œsickenedâ€.
Pat Murphy was away in Clare the Sunday before last - the day Limerick played the Banner in the All-Ireland semi-final - when thieves broke into his garden shed.
On his return, Pat noticed the shed had been forced open and that his lawnmower, strimmer, hedge clippers and other tools had been robbed.
â€œI did the usual and spoke to the guards and would have thought somebody would have noticed people with a lawnmower. I noticed over the course of a couple of days that the dog was not herself, gone very quiet and scratching herself when I saw the wounds around her shoulder,â€ said Pat.
The vet said the puncture wounds suggested to him that Roxy, a terrier, could have been attacked by another dog or hit with a garden rake.
â€œSure enough when I went back home and looked at the rake, there was a load of blood on it so the vet was spot on. Putting two and two together I can only think she started barking at the fellas who broke in and they attacked her.â€
Roxy, said Pat, was a beloved pet whose bark was worse than her bite. She is now on antibiotics and on the road to recovery.
â€œShe is basically a defenceless animal and itâ€™s sickening that they could inflict this on her,â€ said Pat.
From the New Road, Pat has lived all his life in Thomondgate and this is the first time his property has ever been burgled.
â€œIt has left me feeling vulnerable and itâ€™s a bit of a wake-up call for me and I am looking at upping the security with lights and cameras. There have been quite a few burglaries around the area and I do know as well that a lot of burglaries are not reported because people can feel a hopelessness about ever getting their property back,â€ said Pat.
According to a survey of more than 15,000 people published by the AA this week, 22% of homeowners in Limerick reported that their home had been broken into - more than any other county in Munster.