Belfast Telegraph

Angler nets dead pups in horrific river haul

BY AMANDA FERGUSON

A fisherman has spoken of his shock and horror after discovering a bag of dead puppies floating in the River Bann.

Peter de Wolf (59) found the five puppies floating in a sack at around 4pm yesterday close to Higgins Farm, between Toombridge and Lough Beg.

The Glengormley man spotted the bag and used his oar to lift it on to his boat. He opened it and was disgusted by the contents. An image of the dead animals seen by the Belfast Telegraph is too graphic and disturbing to publish in a newspaper.

The concerned fisherman then called the police and brought the bag to the nearby Lock Keeper's Cottage.

He said: "I am disgusted. I found the animals inside a tied coal bag with a brick inside it.

"The bag was full of bloody water so they had been bleeding and drowning to death.

"How anyone could do this to the poor wee critters is beyond me."

The horrified Co Antrim man said actions like this defy belief and it is very distressing to think of the suffering caused.

The angler added: "What the poor wee things went through must have been terrible.

"They must have been wrestling and struggling. If you can be cruel to innocent, completely defenceless animals you are capable of being cruel to humans.

"Whoever did this is calculated and cold."

Sinn Fein Councillor Henry Cushinan described it as a "rather horrific discovery" while SDLP Councillor Bobby Loughran said he was "disgusted".

Lockkeeper Robert Hanson later buried the puppies.

Last night, a PSNI spokeswoman confirmed that a report of animal cruelty had been made.

She said: "Police in Antrim received a report of a bag of dead puppies being found at the Lock Keeper's Cottage, Toomebridge.

"Police would appeal to anyone with information in relation to this incident to contact them at Antrim on 0845 555 111."

Codie, a border collie, was sent on fire in the Maghaberry Road area of Lisburn in August 2012. The dog's injuries were so severe she had to be put down. A month later, a kitten was thrown from a vehicle on the M1. And last month, Norman, an 18-month-old former racing greyhound, was found bleeding after his ears were hacked off in Newtownabbey.

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