Amazing photo shows Fionn the 'miracle dog' happy and healthy

A dog who was neglected, beaten and left to die on a rubbish tip in Cork has made a miraculous recovery thanks to the love and dedication of an animal welfare group and its supporters.

This is Fionn the foxhound, pictured happy and warm in his bed, being cared for by his foster mother Angela in an incredible photo posted to Facebook by Cork-based animal welfare organisation Dog Action Welfare Group (DAWG).

"It's a dog in a basket," we hear you say. "Why is it incredible?"

It's incredible because this photo shows the heartbreaking condition that Fionn was in when he was found by DAWG.

His skull shattered by a blow from an unidentified object, his broken body left to die in a pile of rubbish, Fionn was found in a woods in Douglas, Co Cork before Christmas by a horrified passer-by who alerted DAWG.

"He was barely alive and was cold to the touch," a member of the group wrote at the time.

"The poor boy was in a very bad way, covered in cuts and pressure sores, a mere skeleton, unable to move.

"It was obvious he had been put there, in amongst the rubbish and left to die."

It was a post filled with raw emotion, that touched the hearts of any who read it.

"Barely alive. Fighting for his life. It is touch and go whether he will survive. What did this dog do to deserve this? Why did he have to be thrown away with the rubbish? Why did he have to suffer so much?"

As it turns out, Fionn's condition was worse than could have been imagined. An X-ray revealed a skull fracture consistent with having received a blow to the head, and while his initial recovery was good and Fionn enjoyed Christmas in his new foster home, things took a turn for the worse over the holidays.

Following an MRI scan in Dublin, DAWG and Fionn's foster family were given the option of having Fionn put to sleep, or pushing ahead with high-risk surgery, performed by a specialist.

They chose surgery. Fionn pulled through.

Let's look at those pictures, again, shall we?

Subsequent investigations led to DAWG identifying the hunt club to which Fionn belonged, and the name of the person in whose care he should have been when he was found.

Once told, the club transferred ownership of Fionn into the care of DAWG and expelled his keeper.

"The keeper of Fionn also had other hounds in his care and we have been told that these dogs have been removed from the premises," a DAWG spokesperson wrote.

"We will ensure that Fionn has is forever home and that he will never again be seen as a tattoo number and an object and instead he will be seen as the living creature that he is."

Well done to all involved in Fionn's story - the staff and volunteers at DAWG, the veterinary teams to whom he owes so much, his foster mother Angela and of course, the lady whose phone call saved his life.

- A charity walk in aid of Fionn will take place in Cork this Sunday, January 26. Over 1,000 people are already registered to attend.

- You can donate to DAWG and find out more abou their work via their website

By Conor Hallahan
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