Rescued: blind 'baby machine' boxer dog entombed in hole to die
A blind boxer dog thrown down a concrete hole and left to her fate had been used as a "breeding machine", according to the founder of an animal rescue centre.
The dog was discovered by Cara Bideau as she played near her home in the Waterside area of Londonderry.
The six-year-old spotted the animal trapped down the concrete hole in waste ground.
Little Cara ran home and told her father Kenny, who rescued the distressed animal.
Mr Bideau said he was shocked by the level of obvious cruelty.
"Cara came home and said a pup had fallen down a manhole, but when I went with her back to where the dog was I could see that wasn't the case at all," he said.
"This was an adult dog that was left to starve to death down this concrete hole.
"A wooden pallet had been placed over the hole and rocks put on top to keep it there, so that the poor dog couldn't get out.
"I was even more shocked when I freed the dog to see how her ribs were sticking out, so it had been quite a while since she had eaten, and then to top it off, we found out she was blind. It is beyond my understanding how anyone could be this callous.
"We are a family of animal lovers and have a dog ourselves, so we took her home with us and gave her a tin of food, which she gulped down in under 15 seconds.
"We kept her at home that night and let her sleep on the sofa because she was clearly exhausted and distressed. In fact, my 15-year-old son Ethan slept on the other sofa to help her settle before we contacted the Rainbow Centre.
"We would consider fostering the poor dog until a permanent home can be found for her. We reckon she deserves to be shown some love after what she has been through, and she is very gentle and affectionate."
Helen Davis from the Rainbow Rehoming Centre took the dog to a vet, who believes the animal was used for extensive breeding and then discarded when she was no longer useful.
Ms Davis added: "The vet has found evidence that this dog was bred and bred and bred until she could no longer produce pups.
"She is emaciated so we can only guess how long she had been left in this concrete grave and left to starve to death.
"Just recently I gave evidence at an animal cruelty court case in Northern Ireland where the judge told a woman it was the worst case of animal cruelty he had ever seen, but then he let her walk free from court with a suspended sentence.
"That is sending out the wrong message – in my opinion people need to be spending time behind bars for behaviour like this."
"I have lost count of the number of times we have come across instances like this boxer dog where animals have been used to churn out pups for sale by people who run puppy farms, and they are getting away with it. Thousands of people took to the streets of Belfast a couple of weeks ago to show how sickened they are by animal cruelty and it was heartening to see."
Helen Davis from the Rainbow Rehoming Centre