Firework put in cat's ear
Irish police are hunting for the sick hooligans who lit a firework and then put it in a cat's ear.
The cat had her ear and the side of her head blown off by the banger in the shockingly cruel attack in Arklow, Co Wicklow.
Incredibly, she survived.
Vets operated to save the mutilated animal last week after it was found near death behind a local pub.
Nobody knows exactly what happened, but it appears that somebody actually forced the explosive into the cat's ear before, most likely, standing back to watch.
The distressed pet, which vets believe is about four or five years old, was then left for dead where it was found on October 29, two days before Halloween.
It was found by pub customers, who initially thought the white-haired cat must have been hit by a car.
However, on closer inspection, it became obvious that there was something more sinister behind the disturbing injuries.
An emergency call was made to the Avondale Veterinary Hospital, where vet Mairead Berkely treated the cat for shock and monitored it overnight before she and colleague Tommy Heffernan could operate on the side of her head.
The complicated surgical procedure took almost three hours, during which the cat's broken jaw was wired, damaged tissue was removed from her ear and a surgical drain was attached.
The vets say the cat will survive and will recover to a certain extent, but is likely to be left deaf by the attack.
Manager of the Avondale Veterinary Hospital, Julie Doyle, said that it is the worst incident of animal cruelty she has seen in many years.
"She really was in a very bad state and the fact that it was an intentional act is just appalling.
"We appeal to the public to keep their pets indoors when bangers are likely to be set off.
"Those who carry out such cruel acts should take a look at the damage they cause and realise it is a very serious situation," she said.
The staff at Avondale Veterinary Hospital carried out the surgery for free.
They believe that the cat was a domestic pet because she was very friendly, despite its enormous distress.
They hope the owner, who is no doubt missing their pet, will come forward and take it home.
If that doesn't happen, they will try to find a permanent new home for the cat once she is well enough.