Published Friday, 02 November 2012
The Agnews launch the rally with new pet Rex and Green Party members. (© Green Party)
The Agnew family launched the campaign at Stormont on Friday alongside Green Party leader Steven Agnew.
The North Down MLA is sponsoring an event at Stormont in support of the family, where members of the public are invited to bring along their dog as a show of support for the cause.
"Animal welfare is an issue that needs to be taken very seriously and 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."
The Agnew family are calling on the public to join the rally to promote better detection, enforcement and legal redress for those who perpetrate crimes against animals in Northern Ireland.
In August, they were forced to put their pet Collie to sleep after he suffered horrific burns in an attack near their Maghaberry home.
Two 21-year-old men have been bailed in connection with the attack but no one has been charged.
Natalie Agnew says the aim of the event is to turn their experience into "something positive".
This dreadful situation showed both the worst and best of human nature because after the horrible attack on our dog so many thousands of people contacted us to offer their support and help.
She added: "That is why we want to use this event to highlight the issue of animal cruelty, to say a public thanks to everyone who supported us over a distressing time and to donate the cash people so kindly sent for Cody's care to help other abandoned animals that may be in danger or suffering.
"I hope that many, many people will come along to Stormont on Saturday, November 24 and stand up for the rights of animals in Northern Ireland because too often their welfare is overlooked."
The family say they intend to give money that was donated to them for Cody's care to a number of local animal welfare organisations including Guide Dogs and Assisi Animal Sanctuary in Bangor.
The Justice for Cody Rally is open to everyone and will take place on 24 November 1-3pm in the grounds of Stormont.