A YOUNG dog found abandoned near Owenahincha beach after a DIY castration has died despite the best efforts of local vets and members of the public who raised over €3,000 for his care.
Called Owen, he was spotted last week by a volunteer dog walker from the West Cork Animal Welfare centre near Clonakilty.
Jennifer Headlam of the centre explained: ‘It looked like someone had done a DIY castration on him, basically it looked like he had an exploded testicle, and he was fighting an infection. We took him to Riverview Vets in Clonakilty where he was treated and brought him back here but he got progressively weaker.’
Blood tests showed he had minimal kidney function and he had a blood transfusion with a donation from another dog at the centre.
However, when he still failed to improve he was operated on by vets Marta Stefan and Fionnuala Murphy who discovered Owen had an infected gut.
Jennifer said: ‘Over a metre-and-a-half of his gut was removed. They both went over and above the care of duty but sadly he didn’t make it.’
Marta wrote on the animal group’s Facebook page of his final moments: ‘I was called back into the surgery this morning as Owen’s breathing was laboured. Sadly he passed away shortly after I arrived. The only consolation is that he died with his beautiful head on my lap, hopefully knowing that someone cared about him.’
His medical expenses were covered by members of the public who donated via the group’s Facebook page with money coming from as far as the UK.
Jennifer added: ‘Owen really touched people’s hearts. It’s so unnecessary for something like to to happen. If people can’t afford this procedure, there are people here to help. What were they thinking?’
Nearly 400 people commented on the Facebook page on Owen’s death. Among them was Alayne Wells from Sligo who is part of a group called ‘Independent Flatcoated Retriever Rehoming’ who were following Owen’s plight after it was initially thought he was a flatcoat.
‘Lots of our members made donations, we all felt so helpless. There was an outpouring of love for this dog but sadly it came too late,’ she said.
Alayne also urged anyone with any information about Owen and his origin to come forward so such a thing can’t happen again: ‘Let’s get the perpetrator of this evil act. Someone might recognise Owen. It has to be worth a try. If we fail at least we tried and the very good work this charity does should be commended.’ Owen passed on away on what was an especially difficult week for the group as they lost two other dogs who had been living with medical conditions.