Elderly couple left traumatised after hounds maul cat to death
26 February 2009
An eldery couple in Meath has been left traumatised following a vicious attack on their 18-year-old cat. The unfortunate animal was mauled by a pack of hunting hounds as it lay sleeping in the sun. The hounds then "ran through the house, frightening family members and causing chaos".
According to a report in the The Meath Chronicle, the owners of the cat are heartbroken after 'Hoppy’, their three-legged pet, was "torn to shreds".
“It is heart-breaking," owner Rosemary Smith was quoted as saying. "Hoppy was a real pet and loved to lie in the sun. She had only three legs since she was injured when she was very young.”
The Chronicle describes how 14 hounds surrounded the house before descending on the cat. Four of the dogs then ran into the house through the front hall and kitchen.
“I met one of the dogs in the hall and I was afraid it would snap at me," Mrs Smith said. "My husband is 90 years-old and it was lucky they didn’t knock him over.”
She added: "My son’s three little grandchildren are usually here on a Sunday and could have been running around outside. What would have happened to them?”
Mrs Smith told the paper that she was annoyed that a group of men with guns who were hunting with the dogs hadn’t bothered to call up their hounds. She said she wanted to make people aware of what happened and warned that the situation could have been much worse if there had been children in the vicinity.
ICABS Response: Meath Chronicle
Stop the 'absolute cruelty' of hunts
Dear Sir - The attack on a cat by a pack of hunting hounds in Moynalty (Meath Chronicle, 25th February) is yet another reminder that hunters pose a deadly threat not only to wildlife but also to pets. The brutal killing of poor, defenceless Hoppy is just the latest in a growing list of fatalities caused during hunts.
This time last month, hounds ran up a private driveway in Wexford, pinned a cat against a garage door and massacred it. The distressed homeowner described it as "absolute cruelty" and has since banned the hunt from her land. Previously in Limerick, locals looked on in horror as a harrier hound savaged a neighbourhood cat to death. In Northern Ireland, an eight-year-old girl was left distraught after hounds piled into a back garden during a hunt and ripped her beloved cat apart. A local paper reported that a group of youngsters "saw the dogs in a complete frenzy and heard the squeals of the cat as she was attacked".
Whether it is to help protect wildlife, livestock, pets or children, we call on Meath Chronicle readers to join our appeal to the office of Agriculture Minister, Brendan Smith (01-6072000), Email: email@example.com) to ensure that the forthcoming Animal Health and Welfare Bill makes it an offence to use packs of hounds to terrorise, chase and kill.
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