Donal Rogers, 85, is receiving outpourings of support in his ongoing, desperate bid to save his dog, a Jack Russell Terrier named Kim, from being put down after he nipped a passerby outside their home in an isolated area of Co Roscommon.
The Save Kim campaign has exploded in popularity after Rogers's situation was first reported upon by Gript.ie - as of Friday afternoon, a Change.org petition has garnered more than 118,000 signatures, while a GoFundMe page has separately raised more than €5,100.
Rogers previously told Gript.ie how one Sunday morning about two months ago, Kim, who has no history of biting, was laying in front of his secluded house when a group of strangers came down the road walking.
Kim "ran out on the road, and she nipped the person on the leg," Rogers said. He says he immediately apologized when the husband of the woman who was nipped came to his door.
“I offered to take her to hospital,” Rogers said, “but she refused to travel with me.”
The woman, who is in her 60s and is reportedly from Clonmel in Co Tipperary, was taken to hospital by a neighbor of Rogers and had her wound treated before being sent home.
However, Rogers soon after received a court summons in relation to the incident. In subsequent hearings, the woman who was bitten demanded that Kim be destroyed.
Rogers offered to compensate the woman, but the woman refused. An order for Kim to be put down was granted, but is currently being appealed.
Gript.ie has since published a "final plea" penned by Rogers on July 13 to the victim.
In his letter, Rogers writes: "I don’t know how I’d cope without Kim. I can’t imagine life without her at this stage."
Rogers says that he is "truly sorry" that the woman was bitten by Kim, who he notes has never bitten anyone before or since.
Rogers went on to propose a number of terms he would abide by "in a heartbeat" in order to spare Kim's life, including muzzling the dog, erecting a fence at his property, attending dog training lessons with Kim, and having Kim assessed by an independent expert in dog safety.
"I am not suggesting that the Court order for Kim’s destruction should simply be struck out," Rogers wrote, "I am merely asking that it be paused for a period so that I can show you and the Court that I can comply with any arrangements that are necessary."
Rogers goes on to say that his offers to pay the woman's medical expenses and compensation remain open. He added that he would be willing to enter mediation with the woman and would cover all costs.
"I am of limited means, but I would be very happy to pay you whatever compensation you consider appropriate, or I could donate to a charity of your choice," Rogers wrote.
He continues: "The real question I am asking is whether there is any outcome that would satisfy you other than Kim being destroyed? If the answer is yes, then I will do anything that is required. Please just tell me what I need to do."
He concludes his letter: "I know these court proceedings were unpleasant for you and I apologise for any occasion on which you have been caused offence or upset."