Gardaí are hunting a teenage gang who snatched a pet dog, tortured him by attempting to castrate him, and finally cut his throat, leaving the animal to die in agony.
Owner Sylvia McCarthy wept as she said she remains baffled as to how anyone could inflict such terrible suffering on a beloved, loyal pet.
Five-year-old Jack Russell terrier Marvin was still alive when found in Mayfield in Cork but, despite desperate efforts to save him by animal welfare officials and a local vet, he died a short time later.
It is believed Marvin was attacked sometime over Friday and Saturday.
The dog was cornered and snatched by the gang and brought to a remote location where he was attacked and tortured. He died on Saturday night.
"I'm absolutely sickened by what happened," Sylvia said.
"How can anyone inflict this type of pain and suffering on another creature?"
"When the guards brought Marvin to the vet, his head was half cut off."
Sylvia found Marvin after becoming worried about him and going to search fields around Mayfield. He had been thrown in high grass, partially hidden behind a bush.
Sylvia has now launched an appeal via Cork's RedFM for information on teenage gangs that are targeting pets in the greater Cork area.
Cork's Lord Mayor, Councillor Chris O'Leary, described the attack as "barbaric" and vowed to back the appeal.
"They tortured him - that is what they did, pure and simple," Sylvia sobbed.
"We have spent the weekend crying our hearts out for Marvin. He didn't deserve this."