THE owners of pet dog Cody have spoken of their devastation after the animal – set on fire in an attack which caused outrage across the country – lost her fight for life.
The collie dog was put down on Saturday night when it became clear she was too badly injured to survive,
Martin Agnew said he and his wife were with Cody when she was put to sleep – but that it would have been too upsetting for their two young sons.
“Her injuries were too much; the vet had warned us this was always a chance,” he told the News Letter yesterday.
“In the end they discovered how bad the burns were and how deep they went.
“The kids are absolutely devastated.”
Cody was left severely injured on Sunday, August 26 after it is believed she was doused in lighter fluid and set alight.
Mr Agnew said at the time that he could barely recognise her as she limped back to their Maghaberry home, near Moira.
Irish rugby international Stephen Ferris, a family friend, was one of Cody’s strongest supporters but the collie also won hearts across the UK, with more than 65,000 people joining a Facebook page supporting her as she fought for her life.
On Sunday, over 8,000 people expressed their condolences to the Agnew family after it was announced that Cody had died.
Mr Agnew said that over £6,000 had been donated to pay for vets bills. He said the money was far more than Cody’s treatments had cost – and that the family planned to donate the cash to charities that deal with animal cruelty, such as Animal Connections.
Mr Agnew said the huge level of public support had been unbelievable, and had proved a great comfort to the family during a difficult time.
Two people who were arrested in connection with the attack have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.
The police investigation into the attack is continuing.
The PSNI in Lisburn described Cody’s death as “tragic” on their Facebook page, adding: “We would like to remind everyone that police are dealing with the matter, and two people have already been arrested.”
Last week, the body of a burned German shepherd dog was found in the Springtown area of Londonderry.
USPCA spokesman David Wilson said they come across around three or four cases of animals being set on fire each year. He said the vast majority involve companion pets, such as cats or dogs.
“Thankfully it is not a daily event, but it does happen from time to time,” he said.
“Anybody who is caught and convicted faces a jail sentence. The law has become much tighter.”