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Sad end for abandoned Norwich dog Beethoven

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:33 02 July 2010

Tash Middleton with the abandoned dog.

Tash Middleton with the abandoned dog.

Kate Scotter

Dog owners are being urged to take more responsibility for the welfare of their pets following the death of a St Bernard found underweight and abandoned in a city park.

Dog owners are being urged to take more responsibility for the welfare of their pets following the death of a St Bernard found underweight and abandoned in a city park.

The dog, nicknamed Beethoven after the movie about a St Bernard dog, had been spotted on his own at Earlham Park, in Norwich, by a passerby last Tuesday.

As revealed in Saturday's Evening News, Norwich City Council's dog warden was informed and he was taken to a vet and put into care.

Beethoven, who was thought to be between six and seven years old, was 30kg underweight and was found to have a tumour.

He had to be put to sleep this week because he was too weak to cope with the illness.

Today, animal welfare officials urged any pet owner who is struggling to care for their animal to seek help as soon as possible.

A Norwich City Council spokesman said: “It's such sad news about Beethoven - he was a lovely boy. Everyone at the kennels had fallen in love with him. It's heartbreaking that it turned out this way.

“The vet said that if Beethoven had got some treatment earlier, he would probably have been okay, but he had been left too long and was too weak to fight the illness.

“We'd like to say thank you to all the staff at the kennels and the vets we deal with; everyone has worked so hard to try to save Beethoven, but unfortunately he wasn't strong enough to carry on.

“If anyone is struggling to look after a pet then please get in touch with animal charities, which can help you at the earliest opportunity, rather than just dumping them.”

St Bernards are working dogs from the Swiss Alps which were originally bred for rescue. The breed has become famous through tales of alpine rescues - as well as for its enormous size.

Fully grown, they can weigh up to 100kg but Beethoven weighed just over 60kg.

A spokesman from the RSPCA said: “Sadly no dog is 'safe' from being dumped and it is most often left to animal welfare charities and local authorities to pick up the pieces.

“We would like to stress that if anyone does have an animal they struggling to care for, then they must seek help at the earliest opportunity, and not resort to dumping an animal if they find they cannot cope anymore.”

Do you have an animal story for the Evening News? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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