THE UNIVERSITY of Limerick says any activity involving cruelty to animals is deplorable and should be subject to the full rigours of the law.
The university issued a statement this afternoon in response to the Limerick Leader article last Thursday about drunk UL students luring a dog to its death in a sick game,
College Court Drive resident, Charlie Cassey, wrote about an incident that sickened her “to the core”.
“As the students finish their exams the giddyness grows and the parties begin. I don’t begrudge them this but this method of entertainment is unforgivable.
“As they gathered by the green, a small dog from the neighbourhood was drawn by the small, excited crowd.
“As cars drove up and down the road at a fast pace, the students teased the dog by throwing the ball from one side of the road to the other - the dog of course chasing the ball,” wrote Ms Cassey.
Her brother-in-law witnessed what happened.
“The students actually waited until a van was coming before playing this sick game until the inevitable happened – the little dog went under the wheels of the van which drove over him.
“Did the students feel remorse after this disgusting act? No. As the dog lay dying in agony, the students laughed and jeered at my brother-in-law as he roared and scolded them.”
The story has had a huge reaction on the Limerick Leader website with upwards of 10 times the hits for a general story. It has garnered over 3,000 likes and over 250 retweets from the site.
A separate petition calling for those responsible to be punished has over 1,500 signatures.
UL’s statement this afternoon reads: “The University of Limerick’s position is that any activity involving cruelty to animals is deplorable and should be subject to the full rigours of the law”.
In the event that student involvement in any act of cruelty to animals is proven, this will also be handled under the University’s disciplinary procedures which are governed by a code of conduct for students, it said.
While the incident was not reported to gardai at the time, the university has submitted a request to the garda authorities asking that the incident be investigated and requesting the gardai to alert the university if any evidence of student involvement is uncovered, “as well as confirming that in the event that student involvement is confirmed the university’s disciplinary processes will be implemented”.
“The university has a comprehensive and robust system in place to investigate alleged breaches of the code by individual students and, where it transpires that students have breached University regulations, students are subject to a formal disciplinary process where the penalties include fines, suspension and, in serious cases, dismissal from the university.
“We have already encouraged any individual with information relating to this incident to report this in the first instance to the gardai and where student involvement is suspected to notify the University for further investigation.
“Since the university became aware of the report of an incident last week it has been proactive in seeking to address this matter. It has initiated its own enquiries locally to ascertain what had happened and these investigations are on-going.
“UL has also liaised with the gardai and animal welfare authorities to enquire whether any complaints had been filed and to date it appears that there have been none,” it reads.
The statement concludes by saying “the university at all times seeks to maintain good relations with our neighbouring communities and every effort is made through our Community Liaison Committee to strengthen our partnership with the wider community”.