GSPCA launches investigation after botched backstreet tail docking

The GSPCA is appealing for information following the discovery of a badly injured pup in Portumna at the weekend. The dog, which is about 12 weeks old, had been subjected to a botched attempt to dock its tail and was found wandering the streets in pain and distress.

The Jack Russell pup was found in Portumna town last Friday night, and local gardaí brought it to the home of a GSPCA volunteer. As the pup was bleeding from its severed tail it was immediately seen by a local vet.

“On examination it was discovered someone had tried to dock its tail using a shoelace,” a GSPCA spokesperson said this week. “The tail was in a bad way, not fully severed, bleeding and causing severe pain. His tail was cleaned and bandaged, and painkillers were given to help him. We don’t know yet can it be saved but hopefully if the damage is not too severe it will be.”

The charity has pointed out that docking a dog’s tail without veterinary experience is illegal under animal welfare laws, and the Veterinary Council of Ireland has ruled that even vets should not dock dogs’ tails.

“The tail is attached to the spine and this could have left the spine open to infection,” the spokesperson explained. “It is an extremely cruel practice and causes pain and distress if it is done without anaesthesia or analgesia in an unsterile environment. Tail injuries seen by vets are usually associated with backstreet docking going wrong. This puppy is lucky it was found in time, how many suffer slow deaths we don’t know.”

The GSPCA is now attempting to find the owner of the pup, and the organisation is asking anyone with information to contact its office at 091 563631, or Portumna Garda Station at 090 9742060.

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