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The burnt carcass of a dog was found in a rural area of The Glen in Cork city on Wednesday.
Pictures of the deceased and cremated animal were shared on Facebook by the Cork Animal Care Society who suspect the animal was burnt alive.
Over 1,400 people have reacted to the Facebook post and the pics on social media have gathered more than 500 comments within 12 hours.
In the post, the Cork Animal Care Society said they had been looking for a stray lurcher over the past few days and had alerted the city Dog Warden to the dog in the hope of catching him.
The society said that the animal then disappeared and then a staff member was sent photos by someone they knew, of a dog burnt up in The Glen area.
In a Facebook post, the Cork Animal Care Society said: “We believe it is the same dog... What kind of sick twisted individual/individuals do this to an animal? Was the dog still alive when it was burnt to death? The person who found its body believes it was.”
The organisation went on to say that the amount of cruelty to animals that they have witnessed over the past few days in “unbelievable.” The charity is appealing for anyone with information to contact them in confidence. The organisation can be contacted on email@example.com.
“Please do not let this dog's life be in vain if anyone knows anything about it get in touch!”
Vincent Cashman of the Cork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA) said they did not know if the animal had been burnt alive and they would be following procedures to investigate the incident.
Mr Cashman said that they would be checking the animal for a chip, which may or may not be still working, despite the fire.
“We will be looking for some form of identification, but we may not find any.” Mr Cashman said.
The CSPCA worker said it was not a common occurrence to find an animal burnt and called the action “deplorable.” “We do come across dumped carcasses, but people usually try to bury them. Sometimes you might find an abandoned carcass at the side of the road, but burning the carcass with the intent to get rid of it, which is what we think happened here, is deplorable.
“There are ways and means of disposing of an animal, you don’t have to drag it into scrublands and burn it.” Mr Cashman said the CSPCA was meeting with the people who took the photos on Thursday.
Lisa O’Donovan of the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) said this January was following suit of a very busy 2018.
“Last year was exceptionally busy and this year has followed the same vain,” Mrs O’Donovan said, “It is relentless the amount of neglect being reported in Cork of animals not being looked after properly.”