Belfast Telegraph

Sick German shepherd puppy rescued from cage in back of van loses fight for life

By Cate McCurry

A five-week-old German shepherd pup found locked in a cage in the back of a van was so weak and malnourished she could neither stand nor open her eyes.

Veterinary staff who made desperate attempts to save the life of the puppy said it was one of the worst animal cruelty cases they had dealt with.

The dog was rescued and taken to Companion Care Vets who fought hard to save its life – but it died in the arms of a veterinary nurse two days later.

She was found seriously ill at Nutt's Corner Market on Sunday by a member of the public who bought her for £50 because she was so concerned about the pup.

It is understood the man who was selling the puppy with its two siblings had them in a cage behind items of furniture. The Lisburn woman, who does not want to be named, said the puppy was already dying when she found it.

"I told the man the puppy was seriously ill but he just shrugged his shoulders and claimed someone gave them to him," she said.

"We raced to my vets while I carried her in my arms wrapped in a blanket to keep her warm but she was so cold and would let out a little moan, but she didn't even have the energy to cry.

"I feel awful I didn't fight to take all three of them."

It has emerged that one the puppies was later found on the roadside. It is believed he is being cared for at the Northern Ireland German Shepherd charity.

Veterinary nurse Christina Palmer said it was one of the worst cases she has seen.

"She was in appalling condition," she said. "We got to work immediately, placing her on a drip and giving her much needed pain relief and medication. She fought for her life for over a day-and-a-half but sadly passed away peacefully early on Tuesday morning.

"We are all terribly saddened by this and hope that the people responsible are brought to justice."

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"She could not stand or open her eyes properly. She was so dehydrated, one of her eyes was completely ulcerated and her skin was terribly infected and she even had maggots. We estimated that she was about five weeks old and she weighed just 2kgs when she should have been triple that. She lost her sight in one of her eyes."

Vet Christina Palmer

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