dead pet probe | 

Bodies of decapitated animals sent to specialist laboratory for further examination

'Between ourselves and the gardai we decided to take this extra measure which is not something that's actually done in this country'

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

The DSPCA has revealed that it has taken the unseal step of sending the bodies of a decapitated dog and cat that were found within days of each other to a specialist laboratory for further examination.

The charity and gardai are sending both animals that were discovered in south Dublin to the laboratory in the UK for a forensic postmortem.

It follows the discovery of both decapitated pets in the space of a week.

Yesterday afternoon, a DSPCA Inspector was called to a green area in Ballyboden where a cat’s body had been dumped.

"The cat, a tabby and white female, had been decapitated and the head was not found at the scene,” the DSPCA said.

“The DSPCA and Rathfarnham Gardaí are investigating and are calling on anyone who saw something suspicious or who may have any CCTV footage to contact Rathfarnham Garda Station as soon as possible.”

On Monday afternoon the DSPCA received a call from a member of the public who told them the body of a dog had been dumped in a bin shed beside an apartment block in Clondalkin.

The dog, which was a large, un-neutered, tan coloured, male bull terrier, had also been decapitated.

The animal’s remains were removed to the DSPCA shelter in Rathfarnham and were examined by DSPCA vets.

Upon examination, the dog was found to have been microchipped, and the DSPCA said this will assist the investigation.

Gillian Bird of the DSPCA said they decided to have the bodies examined further, “which is not something that is done very often”.

“We are hoping to find some more information such as cause of death, time of death and anything else that might give us some sort of indication about these cases,” she said.

"Between ourselves and the gardai we decided to take this extra measure which is not something that's actually done in this country.

“The bodies have been sent to a specialist laboratory in the UK.”

Asked if there was a connection to both incidents, Ms Bird said: “We're sticking to the facts.

“We simply don’t know. We have no idea if they are connected but I will say that it’s not common.

“But we’re dealing with a situation where there is basically a lack of dignity in death, which is another major issue here. Like, the dog was dumped behind a bin shed so obviously there's a chance that children could find it. The cat was laid out on a green area where it could also have been seen by children.

“Also, it's illegal to dump a dead animal. There are legal requirements in place because of disease control and from a health and safety and hygiene perspectives.”

Ms Bird revealed that they had responded to reports from the public in the past regarding mutilated animals that were often just washed up or had been eaten by scavengers like foxes or badgers.

“But in the case of this dog and cat it was confirmed by our veterinarian team that there definitely was a sharp implement used in both cases.

“It would be highly unusual for us to find two similar cases within days at each other,” Ms Bird added.

“But to put the public mind’s at ease if we do get more information we will share it, and it’s not just ourselves, the guards are taking this very seriously as well.”

Ms Bird reiterated the call for any information to be reported, in the case of the dog, to Clondalkin gardai and in relation to the cat, to Rathfarnham.

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