Belfast Telegraph

Moving story of Cody the dog launched

By David Young

Animal lovers turned out in force at Stormont last night for the launch of Justice For Cody: The End Was Just The Beginning, Natalie Agnew's moving book about the savage killing of her pet dog - and how Cody's death ignited a growing campaign for tougher animal cruelty laws.

Cody the collie came to public attention in 2012 when she suffered appalling burns to most of her body after being doused in petrol and set on fire in the Maghaberry Road area of Moira.

Despite the best efforts of vets, the young dog was too severely injured to survive.

In 2014, Jamie Downey and Andrew Richard Stewart were sentenced to just a few months each for the attack.

Author Natalie Agnew said Cody's death "taught her that society and the law had to change" and since her dog's tragic death she has been determined that Cody's Law - seeking tougher sentences for animal cruelty and a register of perpetrators - will be passed.

The book also contains a foreword by TV star Paul O'Grady, describing it as "a very powerful and moving read".

Green Party leader Steven Agnews said last night that the creation of an Animal Cruelty Register was now under consideration by Justice Minister David Ford.

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