Broadly speaking, cruelty cases involving animals reach the DSPCA (Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in one of two stages - through ignorance or neglect.
On October 2, 2013, our two DSPCA inspectors were alerted by a member of the public to a mid-terrace home in Dublin 15.
Calls of this nature are sadly not rare and each day the telephone rings and they could be summoned north, east, west or south of the city.
The range of incidents can vary, from dilapidated plots on the outskirts of the countryside, to detached suburban homes, to grand manors.
You see, cruelty doesn’t have a fixed abode.
When the inspectors entered the house that morning, the first thing they recalled was the odour.
The dog wasn’t displaying visible signs of having been treated unkindly, but upon closer inspection there was a palpable impression under the animal’s neck.
A child had innocently placed an item around the dog, an 8-year-old male collie cross breed called Rambo, and over time it had imbedded itself deep in the neck.
It was a hair bobbin, a simple piece of kit that has been used by small children for generations.
However by the time our inspectors arrived it had sparked a near decapitation.
It was, as one inspector notes now, one of the worst cases they had seen in almost 15 years.
Our team of veterinarians set about the intricate operation to reconstruct his neck back. Over a four hour period, our vet team meticulously set about the preparation and then the surgery.
n fact one of the vets eventually brought Rambo home where he lived for a month under her watchful eyes as he set about his treatment.
They’re the kind of emotional ties that bind. The care for animals doesn’t stop when the shift ends.
Because Rambo hadn’t been groomed regularly over a long period of time, its hair had covered the extent of the injury.
And the welfare of the animal had subsequently been neglected over time.
When you walk into the facility in Mount Venus Road today, you will see all manner of animals enjoying a second chance.
Rambo was re-homed three months later after plenty of recuperation and rehabilitation and is now living with a loving family in Cork. He was one of the lucky ones.
There are many who aren’t so fortunate.
That’s why the DSPCA is in existence. To help those who have no voice.
It has been the same for the 500,000 animals who have been saved, cared for and in most cases successfully re-homed since 1840.
To help us in our fight to stop animal cruelty please visit www.dspca.ie