Family's anguish after thugs use lurchers to maul their pet terrier
A family have been left heartbroken after their pet dog was savaged by two lurchers in a late night attack outside their home in Co Armagh.
Dog owner Daire, who didn't wish her surname to be used, said youths took little Woody from their garden in Lurgan's Kilwilkie estate to a nearby field and encouraged the other dogs to attack it.
The defenceless terrier-cross was then subjected to a brutal mauling that left it with severe injuries.
Daire was awakened by a neighbour who heard Woody's yelps and discovered him in a bloodied state.
"He saw the dogs attacking Woody and chased them and the young lads from the field," she said.
"Our neighbour took Woody to his house and woke us up just before 3am."
Her and her daughter Eabha (8) were left distraught at the sight of their pet, who was "terrified and unable to move".
Daire said the attack was intentional.
"Our gate has a double lock on it and is very secure, so it must have been taken out of the garden and set upon on purpose because there's no way it could have got out," she said.
"The dog was mauled to pieces. We took him home and tried calling for a vet, but we couldn't get one until 8.30am. We were told to keep him warm, so we sat with him throughout the night.
"Woody couldn't move and was refusing food and water.
"The shock of it alone will have traumatised him."
The pet dog was later taken to a vet and put on a drip and given antibiotics.
The full extent of Woody's injuries is not yet clear because his side and stomach are too swollen to examine.
"I don't know how this will impact on him if he survives," Daire told this newspaper.
"He is not the type of dog that would run out and about - he has no street sense and is so gentle.
"Only for my neighbour the dog would have been dead. He heard and went out to see what was going on.
"My four-year-old daughter Farrahrose is traumatised. She wouldn't go to school and she's not sleeping. She also keeps asking when the dog is coming home.
"She was screaming and crying when she saw Woody. He lost so much blood - the kitchen was a mess.
"It's the viciousness of these people coming in and doing this and setting their dogs on him.
"A dog wouldn't do that... it's the enjoyment these lads are getting from this. It's sickening.
"It was so traumatic and to see the children so upset is awful.
"The vet doesn't know if he will survive because it was such a bad attack.
"He's not putting any weight on and then it's about how he copes after it.
"It's scary to be woken up and find out that someone has been in your back (garden) to take your dog out and have it attacked."
Family friend Aileen Murray-Marshall shared images of the injured pet on Facebook.
The post was shared over 1,000 on the website as people expressed anger at the viciousness of the attack.
One friend of the family posted: "Heartbreaking, what sort of people are around.
"They must be the lowest of the low."