Urgent appeal as newborn puppies found dangling over river in plastic bag

Urgent appeal as newborn puppies found dangling over river in plastic bag

AN URGENT appeal has been launched to find the owner of three newborn puppies who were cruelly dumped in Donegal.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) have revealed an act of animal neglect so cruel they described it as puppies being 'fly tipped like pieces of trash'.

The alarm was raised shortly before 9pm on Wednesday, 8 July, where a concerned passerby contacted a vet regarding what they thought was a bag of abandoned kittens hanging off a bridge near Drumkeen, Co Donegal.

(All images courtesy of the ISPCA)

The bag was dangling so precariously that the passerby was wary to approach it in case it ripped or fell, and Alexander Smyth, Director of Veterinary Service who responded to the call, had to perform a 'specialist rescue' to safely remove the bag.


Dr Smyth removed the bag, which was hanging from barbed wire above a fast-moving river, and as he opened it he realised it was not kittens that were hidden inside but newborn collie pups, who had been tossed towards the river with the intention of drowning them.

They received emergency treatment for hypothermia, hypoglycaemia and hunger, and have now been transferred into the care of the ISPCA.

ISPCA Senior Inspector Kevin McGinley said the manner in which they were abandoned was 'disturbing, cruel and heartless', and urged owners to spay and neuter their pets to prevent unwanted puppies being born.

“It is disturbing how anyone could be so cruel and heartless, to put three vulnerable little puppies in a plastic bag leaving them to dangle over a river to an inevitable death," Mr McGinley said.

"There is just no words. These three puppies are lucky to be alive thanks to the kind-hearted member of the public and to Smyth Veterinary Services for rescuing them.

"It’s unclear how long the puppies were there but they are now receiving round the clock care at the ISPCA Animal Rehabilitation Centre."

Director of Veterinary Service and the man who rescued the puppies, Alexander Smyth, said "This is a tragedy in this day and age with so many animal charities and places that are willing to care for these animals; the suffering of these animals could have been avoided."

He thanked the "dedicated staff at Donegal ISPCA" and said the veterinary service owed them "a debt of gratitude".

"The puppies are doing well but will require intensive support as they are very young and now orphans, and the ISPCA team will continue to provide this over the coming weeks."

He went on to say that anyone who may see an animal suffering or in danger should contact the authorities.

"Animals in these situations are stressed or wild and they can pose risks to persons attempting to rescue them," he said.

"The environments such as rivers and confined spaces can pose further hazards to rescuers, so you should not attempt any rescues of wildlife, pets or farm animals without specialist training and when completely safe to do so. Contact the ISPCA, Fire Service or your local Veterinary Surgeon for advice."

The Irish Society for the Prevention to Cruelty to Animals works round the clock to care for and rehabilitate animals who have suffered.

Their essential work can only continue through the help of the public: to find out more about their work, or to donate, you can visit the ISPCA website or Facebook page.