ANIMAL welfare volunteers have described reports of hedgehogs being kicked to death in Clondalkin as “absolutely horrific”.
The dead animals were found bloodied and bloated on a grass verge in Neilstown earlier this week and the incident was reported to Hedgehog Rescue Dublin.
A spokesperson for the shelter said: “We’ve had reports coming in of hedgehogs being kicked to death by teenagers in Clondalkin.”
“What kind of people would do this? Absolute scumbags.”
Claire Sherry from Clondalkin Animal Aid told The Gazette: “Hedgehogs are such inoffensive, gentle creatures. This is an absolutely horrific attack on a defenceless animal. We are appalled to hear about such dreadful cruelty. Violence towards animals often leads to cruelty and violence towards people in later life.”
DSPCA spokesperson Gillian Bird agreed and urged anyone with information to contact gardai in Ronanstown.
The incident has been widely condemned on social media where the perpetrators were labelled “the serial killers of tomorrow”.
Ms Bird said the DSPCA would investigate further and she stressed that in the absence of eye witness accounts gardai could not take action.
She said: “They could have been killed on the road by a car and then kicked around by kids after they were dead. But if it is the case that they were deliberately kicked to death then that is a horrific act of cruelty which shows total lack of empathy or understanding that these are living creatures.
“Why would people do that? Is it peer pressure or is it because these kids are bored?
“Either way it’s appalling and upsetting. Kids who start into violence against animals if it’s not dealt with it can go further leading to violent crimes against humans.”