A horrified neighbor witnessed three children in high spirits as they kicked a puppy to death in a rural housing estate in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
The man, who identified himself as ‘Paul’ to the Irish Independent, said he could not believe what he was seeing as he drove into the estate on Thursday morning.
"I could see a group of very small children kicking something that wasn't a football.
"As I approached them I could see it was a small pup. They were kicking and jumping on its head," the man told a Highland Radio show on Friday.
When he returned to the scene after parking his car, the dog was dead and the children were laughing and joking. He said the youngest child was about five years of age and the oldest was around 11 years.
"They were almost thrilled to bits that they had kicked this pup to death and stamped on its head," said Paul.
"They were laughing and slapping each other on the back.
"The dog's head was crushed and there was quite a pool of blood. It turned my stomach, doing that to an animal at that age. What are they going to be like when they are older?"
Paul said he called the police to report the incident with a picture in hand, but was not asked to file a complaint.
"I showed the picture to the guard but he looked at me with a look of, 'What do you want me to do?' I wasn't even asked my name," he said.
Sean McClafferty, a spokesman for the Donegal Pet Rescue, an animal welfare group, has requested an urgent meeting with the superintendent at Letterkenny Garda Station to discuss the chilling incident.
"The guard at the desk is duty bound to take all the details of the crime because this is a crime,” said McClafferty.
"It is extremely disturbing that children would do that but we are living in an age where cruelty to animals doesn't seem to matter.”