By Bejay Browne
A COMATOSE pet dog infested with fleas and covered in urine and excrement was dumped at an animal charity’s gates in Paphos and due to the severity of her condition had to be put down.
“After a data and microchip scan and an examination ‘Princess’ had to be euthanised due to the terrible state she was in, and even this procedure was difficult to administrate,” said Joy Porter, marketing manager of Paphiakos and CCP animal welfare charity.
She explained that due to Princess’ emaciated state, the vet struggled to find a vein. The fifteen year old dog was in a comatose state with lacerations and rotting all over her body. Princess was also infested with maggots, ticks and fleas.
She was diagnosed with severe Leishmania and Ehrlichia and was anemic and emaciated.
The story follows the recent shocking news of Billy, a stray dog thrown alive into a cardboard crusher by two hotel employees in Protaras and has animal rights groups up in arms over the public’s apathy.
Animal Party head Kyriacos Kyriacou said he was well aware of the latest incident and that the owner had been located, claiming that the dog had been lost three months ago.
Paphos police checked their data base and found that no report pertaining to Princess, her ID number, her age or description had been made.
“If it is an oversight on our part and the owners are telling the truth, they will be able to check the report with their registry number, which they will have been given when making a report of a missing dog,” a police spokesman told the Cyprus Mail.
A tearful Porter said: “We are all heartbroken and it is so upsetting that someone could torture a dog like this. The medical team realised that nothing could be done to help Princess. Her condition was irreversible. She had to be euthanised to stop her suffering anymore.”
Princess’ plight has been highlighted on the charity’s Facebook page, where Porter says it has gone viral.
The dog was discovered by one of the charity’s security guards whilst doing his nightly round on Tuesday. He said: “Princess was dumped at the gates and left for dead. She was barely breathing, soaking wet and covered in her own fluids having obviously been kept in confinement for quite some time.”
Princess was unable to wag her tail or move at all. She had cataracts and was blind in both eyes. She was also covered in ants, maggots and worms which were feeding on her.
“I will never forget the wailing sound she made, it was heartbreaking.”
The animal charity announced a month ago that they are full to capacity and for the first time in 30 years are no longer able to take in any unwanted dogs, due to lack of space and funding. They currently have over 1,000 animals living at the shelter and say that they hope to be able to accept dogs in the future, but don’t know when.
In the meantime, they are directing people to take stray dogs to the relevant authorities.
Paphiakos believes that the latest case is just the tip of the iceberg and that the situation will spiral out of control if the government don’t step in do something to help.
“We have run out of money as donations are drying up due to the economic crisis. Many people are also dumping their dogs due to finances. We get no financial support from the state and we are appealing for help,” Porter said, adding that 8,000- 10,000 animals pass through the charity’s doors each year and operational costs run into the thousands.
Kyricaou said that to prevent further cases of animal cruelty, punishment must be heftier, education better and proper government co-ordination needs to be in place.
He added that the ongoing court case concerning Thunder, a dog that was brutally beaten and had to undergo repeated operations last year, was postponed yesterday until August 1.