A DOG who cheated death after being shot in the face has been given a second chance at life in his "forever home."
It was initially feared that Harvey would never trust humans again after he was found terrified and with a mysterious bullet wound to the face.
It is not yet known who inflicted the injury or how it was sustained. Nonetheless, Pauline from Pauline's Rescue-who cared for the harrier-said that it was not the first time they encountered a dog who had been heartlessly shot.
After being deeply traumatised, Harvey has now settled into his new home in Fermoy with new owners Aidan Waters and Seána Devlin.
Aidan described the joy he has brought to their lives.
"The minute we saw him we knew he was the one," he said.
The trauma still presents obstacles for Harvey.
"We see him growing every day and gaining a little bit more trust Harvey was slow to accept and trust us at first. He's still reluctant to come to me," Aidan said. "I have to be lying on my side before he'll come near me. He's very comfortable with Seána. We think he might have a blanket negative association with men because of what happened to him."
The couple are no strangers to rescue animals and have four dogs altogether.
"We know what goes on," Aidan said. "One of our other dogs Lola had been dumped in a forest and was there for two weeks before she found her way out. She must have smelled our other dog because he rocked up to our door and hasn't left since."
Aidan said it would be difficult to find out the sensitive details behind Harvey's injuries.
"We didn't want to know the extent of his wounds. He had scars on his face but we didn't want to know too much about it. We like to think that a gun had been misfired but it's more likely that Harvey was shot and legged it. It's great to see how much Harvey has come on and that he now has two sisters and a brother."
Owner and founder of Pauline's Rescue, Pauline O'Mahony said that Harvey is lucky to be alive.
"We don't know the circumstances behind the gunshot wound but he's a lucky dog to be alive. He had to spend around six or seven weeks in the vets after being found and a number of his teeth had to be extracted as a result of the damage. He was put on medication and was quite nervous at first but is managing fine."
This is not the first time Pauline has witnessed the aftermath of shocking abuse.
"Unfortunately, Harvey is the third dog we had with us who suffered a gunshot wound. He might have been shot by his owner or wandered on to a farmer's land. Unfortunately, we'll never know what happened. We're just glad he was brought to safety."
She praised Seána and Aidan for taking a chance on Harvey.
"Dogs like Harvey are special so we had to make sure he went to the right owners. Seána and Aidan came to visit him five times so that they could get to know each other and he wouldn't be nervous going away with the."
She spoke of how the strength of a rescue dog never ceases to amaze her.
"We came across one dog who had only been missing a day but was visibly neglected, emaciated and had matted fur. Despite being so weak the first thing he did was gave me "the paw."
To find out more about Pauline's Rescue, which is situated near Charleville and takes in horses and dogs, visit www.paulinesrescue.com. Readers can also contact Pauline on 087-9172474 or email firstname.lastname@example.org