Who could do such a thing Thugs doused family’s border collie in lighter fluid and set it alight in horrific unexplained attackCody, 3, was so badly burnt its ribs and joints were visible
Owner failed to recognise it as it limped home across a fieldPolice hunting for two young suspects in connection with the brutal attack
These shocking images show a beloved pet that was tortured by being doused in lighter fuel and set on fire.
Cody the Border Collie, only three-years-old, was burnt so badly that its ribs and joints were visible through its charred flesh.
The owner of the black-and-white dog, Natalie Agnew, initially failed to recognise her brutally injured pet as it limped home across a field near their home in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Such was the extent of the injuries around the dog”s head and body, with most of it”s fur burnt off, that Mrs Agnew thought it was a jackal from Belfast Zoo.
Horrific attack: Cody the Border Collie was doused in lighter fluid and then set alight, leaving it in a terrible state. Police are hunting for the people who did this.
Traumatised: The young three-year-old collie dog was so horrifically burnt it was possible to see its ribs and joints
Brutal : Police believe two teenaged youths, who were spotted in the vicinity, poured lighter fuel over the dog
Police found two bottles of barbecue lighting fluid from a quarry near to the family home in the village of Maghaberry, outside Lisburn City.
Witnesses, including one of Mrs Agnew”s two young sons, described seeing two boys, one wearing a black hoodie, in the area of the family farm prior to the attack.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland are searching for the attackers.
It was thought the brutal incident happened at around 9pm on Sunday morning. Cody only made it back home two hours later.
The family have been left devastated and face an agonising wait to see if the dog will fully recover from the horrific burns.
Mrs Agnew, 36, had just returned from a family holiday in Spain with her husband Martin and their sons, Jake, 6 and Justin, 10, when the attack happened.
She said: “I can”t believe anyone would actually do this to such a helpless and innocent dog. I am absolutely disgusted and am worried about what else these people are capable of.
Mrs Agnew said the dog had failed to come home when she called it.
She added: “When she didn”t come running right away, I walked down the private lane towards the quarry at the back of our house to find her. I saw an animal walking up the field.
Cody is examined by vets today after she was set alight over the weekend
Still suffering: Cody looks in pain at the vets today, three days after the brutal attack
Devastated owners: Martin Agnew with his sons Jake, 6, left, and Justin, 10, holding a photograph of their dog Cody as a puppy
“I began to panic a bit as I wasn”t sure what it was. I thought it was jackal which had escaped from the zoo. The animal was struggling to walk, there were bald patches all over it and blood was dripping from its nose.”
After realising it was their pet, she said: “I started shaking like a leaf.
“I couldn”t look at her. I called husband out to the garden who gathered her up and took her to the vet.”
The vet told the family that due to the nature of the burns it was a deliberate attack.
It is thought her son saw the likely attackers after he was watching out of the window and saw two boys who looked about 17-years-old walking towards the quarry.
They are thought to have been local.
Beautiful dog: Cody as a pup. She was just three when she was attacked on Sunday
Cody is “as friendly as they come”, said friend and international rugby player Ferris
Mrs Agnew said: “In addition to being devastated by this horrific attack on our dog, my ten-year-old son now blames himself for not calling the dog in earlier.
“He is also petrified of going anywhere alone.”
The dog is now in the care of a local vet. The family said they face an anxious wait over the next few days to see if the dog”s wounds will heal.
Mr Agnew said: “We”re just waiting for news from the vet now to see how she”s going to be.
“She”s got serious burns and we”re being told it”ll be three weeks before we know if her fur”s going to grow back.
“I”ve got two boys and they are in bits about this.”
A public appeal for information using Facebook and other media to help police trace two young boys has been launched.
IrishLions rugby player Stephen Ferris, who is a family friend, said the attack was “inhumane” and the pet was as “friendly as they come”.
He is one of over 20,000 followers who have signed up to a Facebook group called “Justice for Cody”.
Police are appealing for information.