Tragic pets to be honoured at memorial
Service will let owners share grief
ABUSED, neglected and abandoned animals will be honoured tonight with much-loved pets at a special memorial service.
Sparky, the little dog bludgeoned to death with a hammer, and a Staffie doused with acid last month, will be among hundreds of dogs recognised at Northern Ireland’s first Pet Remembrance Day at Belfast Castle.
The service will begin at 7pm to pay tribute to the animals that have made homes and families complete, as well as those languishing in puppy farms and others lost to neglect and cruelty. The remains of 12-week-old pup Sparky were uncovered last year from a bin in Lurgan, Co Armagh, following a house party.
He had sustained a number of fractures and severe brain trauma.
Kyle Keegan, 24, from Lurgan, had been due to go on trial at Craigavon Crown Court but pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and is awaiting sentence.
The service will also remember the unidentified brindled female Staffie who sustained serious acid burns last month. A vet made an immediate decision to put her to sleep.
Hundreds of people are expected to attend Belfast Castle this evening as part of the World Pet Memorial service.
The event is being supported by Belfast-born animal rights activist Linda Martin, famed for her Eurovision success, and hosted by Olivia Kennedy who runs Lucy’s Trust.
Co-organiser Amanda Large said: “More people are opening up about the loss of a beloved pet and how it has affected them. Grief is not measured by species but by what the deceased meant to us.
“The memorial service at Belfast Castle will allow people to bring along a picture of their pet and to have their loss validated.
“And in Dublin, Dog’s Aid will host another service in Dublin Unitarian Church on June 23 at 3pm.”
MONSTER Kyle Keegan