A Facebook page calling for ‘Justice for Buster’, the Jack Russell discovered hanged to death in Limavady earlier this week, has received support from around the world, with almost 5,000 ‘likes’.
The page was created after the two-year-old brown and white coloured family pet was found hanging from a metal pole in the back yard of a home in Drumachose Park just after 7am on Tuesday. The dog was hanged using its own lead, and Limavady Borough Council has confirmed to the ‘Journal’ it is “working along with PSNI in their investigation”.
As news of the sickening act spread, support for the family and revulsion at what happened wasn’t long in building. Exclusive coverage of the story, that appeared on the Journal’s website on Tuesday, has been the ‘most read’ all week.
The “loveable, playful” pet was bought to young Logan Campbell as a birthday present two years ago. Logan, who turns 10 at the end of the month, says he misses his pet that he “loved millions”.
Grieving for his beloved Buster, brave Logan said: “I used to walk him and he loved cuddles. I called him Buster because he was fast and sparky. Whoever did this - well people should tell their names and send them away to be punished.”
Mum Julie, who made the horrific discovery as she opened the kitchen blinds, said a neighbour started the Facebook page. She is overwhelmed by the support, from friends and strangers, some as far away as Australia.
One post to the Facebook page read: “Disgusted by disgusting people... What is wrong with them?”
Julie, who has another dog, a Rottweiler called Kaiser, says Buster “was more than a dog”.
“He was part of our family. Why would anyone do that to a wee dog?” she asked. “I am heartbroken. The kids are devastated.
What happened to the family pet is the latest in a string of attacks on her Drumachose Park home, claims Julie. She says she had her wheelie bins set on fire, fireworks catapulted at the house, damage to her car and house windows. She has now found another house out of the town and the family are moving from their home of six years.
“We’re just devastated,” said the Limavady mum-of-three. “I grew up in this estate and now we have to move. All my family and friends are here. Now we have to pack up and go.”
Julie, who says there should be stiffer penalties for those who commit cruelty to animals, said there are also moves to create a reward for information leading to the dog’s killers, through the Facebook page.
The Buster Facebook page also links users to a petition dedicated to the pet border collie named Cody, who died after being set alight in County Antrim.
Limavady Deputy Mayor, Alan Robinson, said there was outrage and disgust at an act he branded “barbaric”.
“I am seething with anger,” he said. “I have witnessed total carnage in the house and it’s almost like a wake house, a family mourning the loss of a family pet,” he said.
DUP Colr. Robinson had this message for those behind the “sickening” act.
“Hand yourself in to a clinic and get help because if you can do this, I dread to think what you can do to a human being,” he said.