Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine pensioner's pet dog reported as 'beaten to death' was not attacked and died from an underlying illness, vet report reveals

By Claire Williamson

A veterinary report has revealed that a pet dog who was thought to have died after he was attacked - died from an underlying illness.

Coleraine pensioner Violet McElreavey was distraught when her much loved Jack Russell, Busker died in October.

The 72-year-old had Busker since she rescued him as a puppy five years ago.

At the time it had been reported that Busker was viciously attacked on October 12  in the garden of her Maple Drive home in Coleraine.

Busker didn't recover from his injuries and at the time police believed they were caused by the dog being struck a number of times with a blunt object, possibly a hammer.

Ms McElreavey, who has difficulty hearing, relied on the dog in the house.

However police have issued an update after veterinary reports established that the dog that was reported to have been attacked in Coleraine last month had in fact died from an unrelated illness.

They issued the update due to the concern the dog's death caused at the time.

Inspector Ian Armour: "Police received a report that a dog had been attacked and killed, possibly having been struck on the head with a blunt object. We investigated the matter and on the basis of the vet’s report, are content that the dog had not been attacked but instead died from an underlying condition.

"The suspected attack on the dog was widely reported by the media at the time. I know that this caused a fair amount of concern for local people, especially dog owners. Understandably so. However, I would like to reassure people that the dog had not been attacked."

Inspector Armour concluded: "We do not think that the report made by the dog owner was malicious and the incident is now closed as far as police are concerned."

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