A PET dog which vanished from a Wigan home was found seven miles away a week later with horrific knife wounds.
Owner Maureen Way today spoke of her shock, anger and disgust that 12-year-old mongrel Tara’s reproductive organs had been deliberately mutilated with a knife.
Tara is now back home after undergoing extensive internal plastic surgery, but Maureen doubts whether the traumatised animal will ever be the same again. What happened in the seven days between the Jack Russell-Alsatian cross’s disappearance from Platt Bridge to her discovery in Blackrod seven days later remains a mystery and police have appealed for information.
Maureen and husband George live in Chadderton, Oldham, but had left Tara with their daughter Vikki in Platt Bridge while they went on holiday.
On August 29 the gate to Vikki’s home was accidentally left open and the dog escaped. Vikki vainly searched a wide area right up until midnight that day, then had hundreds of posters and hand bills printed which were distributed and put up around the borough. She also contacted local pet rescue centres and put Tara’s details on a lost dogs website.
On Monday this week she got a call from Leigh Cats and Dogs Home saying that a dog answering to Tara’s description had been brought in.
A member of the public had recognised her from Vikki’s appeal and called a dog warden.
Relief turned to horror when Vikki went to collect the animal to find her with serious lacerations. Tara was clearly in great discomfort and unable to sit down and so she was taken to the vet.
At first it was thought the pet had fallen victim to a fox or another dog but then the vet delivered the chilling news that Tara had suffered multiple knife wounds.
She required major reconstructive surgery and is now described as a “nervous wreck”.
Maureen said: “Words cannot describe the people who committed this crime. But they need to be caught.
“You hear that people who kill and mutilate other people often start on pets.
“We are of course glad that we have Tara back but she jumps at the slightest noise and we don’t think she will ever be the same again.
“We were shocked, angry, disgusted and deeply upset that anyone could do this to any animal, let alone a pet dog.” The vet said it would have taken at least two people to do this, with one holding her down and that she must have bled terribly.”
And yet when Tara was found she was surprisingly clean. Maureen added: “You would have thought that if she had been living rough for a week in fields and in the rain that she would have been matted with dirt.
“But that just adds to the mystery of what happened to her during that week.”
A police spokesman confirmed that the crime was being investigated and asked that anyone with details should ring police on 0161 872 5050 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. We have no idea when she was attacked, whether she was picked up the first day and then abandoned days later or wandered for a week only to be attacked just before she was found.”