A climber from North Lanarkshire, Scotland is being blasted by critics on social media after he left his injured dog to die a slow, painful death on a Scottish mountain after she collapsed during a hike.
According to the Daily Mail, Paul Finnegan had been hiking along the 3,073 feet Beinn Squlaird mountains with his 12-year-old border collie, Meg when the dog collapsed and lost the use of her legs. When a storm began and the wind and rain violently tore through the rough and dangerous terrain, Finnegan and his friend said they could no longer carry Meg and abandoned her. The pair said they had no other option.
A mountain rescue team sympathized with Finnegan’s decision to leave Meg, but did not say it was either the right or wrong choice. Social media, however has had a different view and have accused Finnegan of being “heartless and a coward.”
On Facebook, Karen Mills posted the sad news after a five-day intense search to find the dog:
“The owner and his friend appeared on the hill at 2pm and set out on foot to their last know location from that fateful night and I received a simple message from them stating they had found Meg and it wasn’t good news. We haven’t had any more contact about this since and as you can appreciate, everyone who I’ve been liaising with and sharing the work load on the mountain, are as gob-smacked as I am. I am not casting aspersions or making assumptions…this is what has happened.
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart, that I share my last update, that Meg is no longer with us. I’m sorry it is not better news. It’s a devastating piece of news after days of hard work, community, well wishing, support and team work.”
The posts kept coming – calling the dog’s abandonment “pure cruelty” to raging and sad. In an attempt to mitigate the flood of criticism, Finnegan’s family members responded:
“Paul never left Meg for dead. Paul had no signal and tried his hardest to carry her. Between him and his friend he carried her for as long as possible while falling and fighting against the wind and the rain.”
Despite claims that Finnegan never went for help or searched for Meg, the post from his relatives disagreed and stated that Finnegan has had to cope with his decision. Still some basic questions remain unanswered. Why would any responsible dog owner take a senior dog on a grueling hike up a mountain? Surely there were health signs – perhaps arthritis? Astute owners can see the changes in the condition of their dogs as their best friends age. Why didn’t Paul Finnegan pay attention to the signs?
A Justice for Meg group has been created on Facebook in order to give everyone a place to discuss their thoughts.
Rest in peace Meg.
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(Photos of man blasted by critics for leaving dog on mountain to die via screenshots from Deadline News and Facebook)
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Continue reading: Dog found frozen to death in abandoned doghouse left alongside road