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Tag: ireland

Buddy system: Labrador and dolphin

On an island off the coast of Ireland, a Labrador retriever and a dolphin have become swimming buddies.

This footage, from a television program (or programme, in this case) called Countryfile, shows the dolphin, named Doogie, and the dog, named Ben, frolicking in the harbor (or harbour).

Tory Island, accessible only by boat, is off the coast of County Donegal. Ben, it’s reported, resides at a hotel on the island and trots down to the water regularly to meet up with Doogie, who, on the Internet at least, is sometimes referred to as Dougie.

Reporter Adam Henson managed to captured the moment of interspecies play.

Irish prefer dogs way over cats, study says

irishThe Irish love dogs far more than cats, according to a new study about pet ownership.

Research by University College Dublin found that 36 percent of homes in Ireland have a dog, while just one in 10 homes own a cat, IrishCentral.com reports.

The dog-to-cat ratio is much more drastic than in most other countries, including the U.S, where nearly 40 percent of homes have dogs, compared to about 34 percent with cats.

Researchers believe the Irish may lean more toward dogs because of the  prevalence of farming and the higher number of people living in rural areas.

But dogs also seem to have a better image than cats in Ireland, the study notes. They’re viewed more as pets while cats are largely considered stray animals.

Tony Forshaw of the Siamese and All Breeds Cat Club of Ireland said there is less of a history of cat-owning in Ireland, compared with the U.S. or Britain, and that “Irish people tend to laugh at cats.”

Forshaw blames the Irish dog bias on the fact that dogs get more screen time in movies and TV.

(Photo: Costumecraze.com)

Trial opens in Britain for accused dogfighters

rspcadogGrisly testimony was heard yesterday in the trial of a woman accused of being a member of one of England’s biggest dog fighting gangs.

 The case was brought against Claire Parker by the Royal SPCA after Steve Ibinson, an undercover investigator, infiltrated a dog fighting gang called the Farmer Boys in Northern Ireland for a BBC Panorama program.

The busted dogfighting ring had links to Northern Irish paramilitary organizations, according to the Times of London.

Parker, a 44-old breeder of Boston terriers, denies being present at a dog fight, using her property for fights and owning three pit bulls.

Parker is on trial with 33-year-old Mohammed Nasir Farooq,  who it is claimed acted as the “time keeper” during the Lincolnshire fight in May 2007.

At the opening of what’s expected to be a two-week trial, the Lincoln Magistrates Court heard how some of the gang made the dogs train on treadmills and in swim tanks, used lunge poles with dummies hanging on them, electrocuted dogs, and used “rape harnesses” to force female dogs to mate.

RSPCA raids also uncovered weighing scales, ’break sticks’ for parting the animals once their jaws had locked on to each other and veterinary products to treat wounded animals.

Ibinson, a former SAS operative who had lived in fear of his life following the investigation, uncovered links between the gang and dog fighting fanatics across the United Kingdom. His identity was revealed after his death, from natural causes, earlier this year while serving as a security guard in Afghanistan.

Statements he made are being given as part of a case that has seen five people from across the North of England already admit various dog fighting offenses.

In a secretly recorded video, Gary Adamson, a 38-year-old welder, is shown standing next to three reinforced pens in his yard boasting about how his pit bull, Pablo, suffered a “real good ragging” during a 26-minute fight held in the garage of  Parker’s home in Lincolnshire.

In his statement, Ibinson said that Adamson was a representative of the Farmers Boys, from County Armagh, and aspired to be for pit bull fighting what Don King was for boxing.

(Photo: Courtesy of the RSPCA)

Dog survives 200-foot fall off cliff

Suzie, a 16-year-old border collie, fell off a cliff in Northern Ireland, plunged 200 feet to the ground and survived.

The dog fell Saturday night while on a walk in County Feremangh with her owners, Mike and Cathy Tenan, of London, BBC News reported.

Fire crews could not get to her as darkness fell, but a volunteer rescue unit started a new search on Sunday. Tracks and fur led the team to Suzie, who was distressed and dehydrated, but not seriously injured.

Rescue workers gave her water and carried her to a reunion with her owners.

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