A DOG which was set alight in an horrific attack near Moira last month has died.
Cody, the Agnew family pet, suffered severe injuries after she was covered in flammable liquid two weeks ago on the Maghaberry Road.
News of Cody’s death was announced on Sunday morning on a Facebook site set up by animal-lovers revolted at the August 26 attack.
A message posted by the Agnews on the ‘Justice for Cody’ page said: “Bad news, Cody didn’t make it.
“She had been getting worse from Friday and the vets had tried everything they could.
“We are all gutted, but we know she was suffering and was only going to get even worse.”
The news has shocked the thousands of well-wishers who had posted messages of support and said they were praying for a full recovery.
Only last week, Martin Agnew posted a condition update saying a steroid inject given by a local vet had “really boosted” Cody.
“All your well wishing, charms, prayers, hugs and kisses definitely worked today, so thank you all.”
The unprovoked attack caused outrage and thousands of people have continued to express their feelings on social networking websites.
An online fund set up by well-wishers to help towards her vet bills raised over £2,300.
Speaking soon after the incident, Mr Agnew said he had been “overwhelmed” by the messages of support.
One of those using the internet to express his disgust was Irish rugby international Stephen Ferris, a friend of the Agnew family.
The PSNI in Lisburn have provided regular Facebook updates on both Cody and the police investigation into the emotive case.
One said: “After hearing the tragic news that Cody has been put to sleep, we would like to remind everyone that police are dealing with the matter and two people have already been arrested.
“All evidence takes an amount of time to process, and when the investigation is complete the matter will be forwarded to the PPS.”
In what is a reflection of the strength of feeling aroused, Lisburn police added: “We would appeal for calm and remind everyone that bad language or threats on this page will not be permitted in any form.”
Cody’s two-week fight for life had inspired many animal-lovers who contacted the Agnew family.
Last week, the family published an email from a Sasha Gillespie they described as “one of the best emails we have received”.
It read: “Come on Cody. Our daughter is fighting for her life in England going through a bone marrow transplant and we told her Cody was in an accident and got injured.
“We told her today Cody was getting better and starting to eat, our daughter then ate a very small amount of soup. Come on Cody, you are inspiring us so keep fighting.”
David Wilson of the USPCA said he was “very sorry” to hear Cody had died despite the best of veterinary care.
“For a family pet to be lost, maybe children in the house, it is a shocking thing. It’s a bereavement within the family,” he said.
Commenting on those responsible, Mr Wilson told UTV: “It would indicate that there are sick people in Northern Ireland society who would carry out deeds like that. It’s very concerning and shows a total lack of compassion.”
He added: “The new animal welfare law that applies in Northern Ireland from this year allows judges to send people convicted of cruelty on this scale to prison, and we would like to see anyone who is responsible for Cody’s death go to prison.”
Two 21-year-old men arrested in connection with the attack have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.