A young puppy found in dreadful condition in Kildare was discovered by vets to have been roasted alive over a fire.
The little 'Staffie' was found by the Kildare West Wicklow SPCA (KWWSPCA) beside the Curragh Racecourse earlier in the week. A jockey had spotted the animal and called the charity.
The puppy - named Tony by volunteers - was found in a torrid state. He was freezing cold and bore dark marks on his body that the volunteers at the time could not identify.
He was taken to the vets for treatment and workers at the charity were told he had most likely been hog tied and roast slowly over a fire - alive. The vets cleaned his body in a special fluid and what was originally though to be dirt on him was in fact soot from a fire.
"The marks on his paws which also looked like dirt were actually the charred remains of whatever was used to hog tie him and hang him over a low burning fire," the charity said.
"Laura and Aisling who picked him up remembered there had been the scorch marks of a fire near where he was found. The vets said his organs had slowly cooked and over time failed.
"He was suffering from facial ticks/spasms which was the result of neurological damage to his brain from the heat of the fire. To say we were horrified is an understatement."
The young pup sadly passed away yesterday after vets and charity workers made him as comfortable as he could be.
"To think any human could torture a little dog so cruelly. I wouldn't even call them human - they are evil and depraved and I really hope they get the punishment they deserve in this life or the next. We are all gutted and sickened at what was done to poor innocent Tony. No creature deserves this.
"When Laura was rushing the poor boy to the vets and trying to warm up his stone cold little body the little pet was licking her on the face. That shows you animals capacity for love and forgiveness of humans."
The Kildare West Wicklow SPCA said they have informed Gardai of the incident but hopes the perpetrators will be caught are slim.
"The Gardai have been informed and will be investigating this dreadful crime. No doubt the perpetrators won't be caught but people need to know what is going on in their locality and keep their pets safely inside.
"The veterinary staff of Animals First are extremely upset over Tony as are we all. It was not to be Tony - RIP sweet little boy. At least you knew love at the end and were comfortable and pain free when you passed."
Anybody with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Gardai.