Published Saturday, 24 November 2012
The Agnew family attended the rally with their new collie pup Rex. (© UTV)
Many dog owners attended the rally with their pets on Saturday at Stormont to raise awareness for animal rights and support the call for tougher sentences.
The Agnew family presented £4000 to animal charities including Assisi Animal Sanctuary in Bangor and Mid-Antrim Animal Sanctuary.
The funds were initially raised for the collie's vet bills after he was set alight near the family home in Maghaberry in August.
As well as donating to the Guide Dogs, they are running an online campaign to raise £5000 to have a Guide Dog puppy named in Cody's memory, they have raised half of the funds needed already.
Natalie Agnew said at the event that the support for the family after their pet was attacked has been overwhelming.
"The support has been amazing, we didn't expect any of this and the donations as well for Cody's vets bills were unbelievable, it's really heartwarming."
Green Party leader Steven Agnew, who sponsored the event said that animal welfare is an issue that needs to be taken seriously.
"The horrific case of what happened to Cody and the Agnew family who owned him is simply heart breaking and shocking," he said.
"I am sponsoring this event to highlight the issue of animal welfare and the need for a better and more co-ordinated approach to enforcement in Northern Ireland and strong legal consequences for perpetrators."
He continued: "There's a certainly a perception out there that we are not enough with offenders of animal cruelty acts.
"The law was changed recently to up the sentences that judges can give and up the fines, what we're really calling on today is for the courts to use those powers and send out a clear message that we do not accept animal cruelty in our society."
© UTV News