Warning: Graphic content - Athlone SPCA appeals for witnesses after dog's head blown off
Athlone SPCA has appealed for information following the discovery of a dog which was shot in the head in the town.
The animal charity posted a harrowing photo of the cruelly slain dog on its Facebook page.
The husky-type dog is believed to have been shot four times with a shotgun, and it was left - with part of its head blown off - in a public place.
The organisation said it is working with the gardai to find the perpetrators of the killing.
"We were alerted today to a dead dog at the entrance at Glynwood Bog, Athlone a popular place for families to walk t[their] dog on a good Sunday," the charity statement said.
"The dog was a young husky-type breed and had been shot with four cartridges from a shot gun."
"Half his head was blown off. The dog thought he was going for a walk and this was his fate."
"He could have been taken to the pound or animal shelter or even sent to a vet to be humanely [put to sleep] but no he had his head blown off for all dog lovers to pass by."
"If anyone knows this dog please contact the ASPCA at 087 9925052 or contact the Athlone garda at 0906498550."
"All info will be on a strictly confidential basis. we apologise in advance for this picture but we want to catch the person responsible. this part of our work is very hard to take."