Mascot wolfhound from Northern Ireland being worked to death claim soldiers
Soldiers have claimed their regimental mascot, a wolfhound named Domhnall from Northern Ireland, is being "worked to his death bed".
The tall, shaggy face of the Irish Guards is six years old and was a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge on her ceremonial St Patrick's Day visit last month.
Graffiti with the words 'Justice 4 Domhnall' was seen spray-painted on the wall of an Army barracks in Hounslow, west London.
He has been with the regiment since 2013, when he was recruited from Northern Ireland as an untrained dog.
The Sun newspaper reported that soldiers were furious the faithful military mutt was still paraded for official duties despite hip problems and needing around the clock care from his handler, who is currently on sick leave.
"He should be enjoying retirement.
"It's not right," a source said.
"The lads love that dog.
"But Domhnall has problems with his health.
"People are saying the dog is being overworked constantly.
"He was meant to be retired a long time ago; he's not well, but is being worked to his death bed.
"Someone in the battalion has heard it and gone around spraying that on the walls.
"People are saying that this fantastic dog should be enjoying retirement. It's not right."
An Army spokesperson maintained Domhnall, known for having a taste for Guinness, was receiving the best of care. They added that the soldiers who daubed the slogan on the barracks wall meant well, but did not know his real condition.
"Domhnall's welfare is always of utmost importance to the regiment, which is very proud to have him as its mascot," he said.
"Since joining the regiment in January 2013, Domhnall has received health examinations on a regular basis by veterinary officers from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, to ensure he is being well looked after and is fit for service. In addition, Domhnall has also been under the care of a local civilian veterinary practice throughout his career."
As part of a successful treatment for prostatic disease, civilian and military veterinary surgeons recommended that Domhnall was castrated in 2017.
In addition, they said that on Wednesday, Domhnall was examined by an independent civilian veterinary surgeon, who found him to be in good health.
A Royal Army Veterinary Corps vet also examined him on Thursday, finding him to be in good condition.