With the local community's only animal shelter filled to capacity, alarm has been expressed at the number of dogs and cats abandoned in the Omagh area over the festive season.
Usually the busiest time of the year at Grovehill Animal Trust, the hard-working team at the Sixmilecross-based shelter was put under extra pressure around Christmas and new year, when six pups were abandoned in three separate incidents and left to die by their heartless owners.
Underweight, terrified, and generally in poor health, the pups - ranging from eight weeks to three months old - were cruelly left to fend for themselves at such a vulnerable stage in their lives.
Condemning the perpetrators, Richard Robinson, the shelter coordinator, stressed: "The people who abandoned these animals were extremely irresponsible and showed no compassion whatsoever for the pups, and no consideration of the law."
The first puppy to come through the welcoming doors of Grovehill was an eight-week-old found abandoned during Christmas week.
"This small vulnerable animal should not have been apart from their siblings or mother at such a young age and we’re very glad he was found because it’s certain he would not have survived on his own," continued Richard.
It was followed by four terrier pups who were only 10-weeks-old - and a three-month-old Jack Russell.
Full story in this week's Tyrone Constitution newspaper ...