Donal Rogers made headlines alongside his beloved Jack Russell Kim earlier this year
Donal Rogers, who made headlines alongside his beloved Jack Russell Kim earlier this year, died on Christmas Day aged 85.
Tributes have been pouring in for the Roscommon man online, with Tipperary-based animal shelter, Haven Rescue, sharing his “heroic story” with their followers.
In an Instagram post accompanied by a sweet photo of Donal holding his furry friend, the shelter wrote: “We are so saddened to hear about the passing of Donal yesterday. He captured the nation's earth this year with his heroic story.
“Donal stood for everything good in this world, when things got tough, instead of rehoming or simply put "getting rid of " - No - Donal stood by his doggie Kim... and did everything he possibly could to keep his little 4-legged friend, even when faced with a prison sentence.
"If there were more people like Donal - there would be no need for rescues.
“RIP Donal. Our thoughts are with your family and friends.”
Meanwhile, the Party for Animal Welfare said that Donal’s death was “heartbreaking”, adding that “the stress of the battle to save Kim took its toll” on him.
It wrote: “HEARTBREAKING NEWS - DONAL ROGERS, BELOVED OWNER OF KIM, PASSED AWAY ON CHRISTMAS DAY.
“Undoubtedly, the stress of the battle to save Kim took its toll. May he rest in peace.”
In October, Kim was saved from being put down after biting a Tipperary woman on the leg while she was out walking past Mr Rogers’ house near Strokestown in Co Roscommon.
Donal settled a case with complainant Breid Green in the Circuit Court and was ordered to pay €5,000 compensation, as well as her €1,500 costs.
Speaking after the adjudication, a relieved Mr Rogers said: “I am very happy. It’s not over, it has to be dealt with again. It’s coming up for mention again.
“I presume the stay will be extended, provided of course that the court order is complied with, which I intend to comply with.
“I have been advised not to comment on the order or anything like that. It’s a major turn of events when there was a stay put on the down decision.”
And when asked about Kim, he smiled: “Kim is 120pc. I bring her for a walk every day.
“I was advised to do a dog training course, and I have her on a dog training course and she is coming off the course today and will be tested tomorrow.
“I also now have electric gates, which will be closed all the time.
“She gets treats all the time. I have a variety of food for her and she gets a good feed in the eventing time, and I’m advised that’s the way to feed her.”