LIMERICK Animal Welfare says it is seeing a huge increase in the numbers of mistreated lurchers in the county.
The dogs are traditionally associated with hunting hares.
Marie Quirke, manager of their sanctuary in Kilfinane, said one of the most serious cases is Melody.
“When we found her there was a stab wound in her back. She was found wandering the roads in a deplorable condition - skin and bone,” said Marie.
When Melody was rescued by Marie and members of the public there was a blue rope around her neck which leads them to believe she escaped from her owners.
Limerick Animal Welfare received a phone call from a member of the public after the dog came to their house in Ballyneety in early September. The young animal was so scared it ran off.
“On my way there a man rang me to say he had seen her, met me on the road and took me to where she was. I wouldn’t have found her otherwise. Mums and dads on their way home after collecting their kids from school stopped to help. Only for that we wouldn’t have been able to catch her because she was so terrified,” said Marie.
As well as the stab wound, Marie said Melody’s intestines are very fragile because she was “starved so much”.
“She is finding it very difficult to put on weight. She was obviously living in awful conditions because all the underneath of her is all bald and sore. The amount of pain that dog has gone through is not worth speaking about,” said Marie.
Melody was so weak that the vet couldn’t sedate her for a number of days to close the stab wound. This week Marie has seen an improvement in her and all going well Melody’s story could have a very happy ending.
In January, a puppy that was tortured in Limerick touched the hearts of many when over €400 was raised to pay for veterinary operations. George was found with a broken pelvis, an untreated eye injury, both hips broken, ear tips cut off, burns to his stomach and his whiskers singed off. Animal lover Cora Plunkett got in touch and offered him a new life in England. And now she is doing the same for Melody.
“When she saw the pictures of Melody on Facebook she said immediately she would adopt her so she will go and live with George,” said Marie. She added that they are seeing a big increase in the amount of injured lurchers with mange and skin diseases, so there are many more Melodys out there.