A pet dog which suffered horrendous injuries after she was set on fire may be able to go home for a few hours this weekend.
The owners of three-year-old Codie say the much-loved border collie is continuing to receive intensive veterinary care as she slowly recovers from her ordeal.
But they are hopeful the pet’s recovery is moving in the right direction, to the point she will be able to visit her Maghaberry home in a few days’ time.
Martin and Natalie Agnew and their two sons Justin and Jake were left distraught when Codie sustained horrific burn injuries in the mindless attack on Sunday, August 26.
The dog’s injuries were so severe her ribs and other joints were visible through her burnt flesh.
Mrs Agnew did not recognise her own pet when she saw her staggering towards their home on the morning of the attack.
It is believed the collie had been doused in a flammable liquid and set alight.
Codie, who is thought to have been attacked by two men, is continuing to receive intensive care from vets based in Moira.
However, Mr Agnew told the Belfast Telegraph his family is hopeful she will be able to come home for a few hours this weekend if her recovery continues.
Martin said: “We will find out in the next few days if Codie is up to visiting the house for a few hours — it will be good for the kids.
“The steroids are kicking in and Codie’s eating and moving about, so we will just have to see how she gets on.
“We are focusing on Codie at the moment.”
News of the dog’s improvement comes after the PSNI arrested two people in connection with the attack which horrified people across Northern Ireland.
A police spokesman confirmed a 21-year-old man was being questioned “on suspicion of animal cruelty” after being arrested yesterday morning.
“He is currently assisting police with their inquiries,” he added.
And last night it was revealed that a second person has been arrested in connection with the case, but there were no further details.
Codie’s plight was first highlighted by Ulster rugby star Stephen Ferris, who is a friend of the dog’s owners.
He previously joined the family in appealing for information.
“The little dog is as friendly as they come,” he said at the time.
“This is just an act of cruelty of the nastiest sort.”
USPCA spokesman David Wilson described the attack as a “heinous, deliberate act on a defenceless animal” and urged anyone who knew anything about the attack to talk to the police.
Lisburn PSNI station can be contacted on 0845 600 8000.