Published Monday, 10 September 2012
Cody, the three-year-old collie, before she was set on fire. (© Agnew family)
More than 65,000 people from across the world have left messages on the Justice for Cody Facebook page since Sunday, when it was revealed the dog had been put down.
Natalie Agnew, who discovered her dog had been doused in flammable liquid and set alight at her Maghaberry home last month, said the decision had been "very traumatic".
"Unfortunately the skin was irreparable, decay had already set in and there was no way she would ever be able to heal and she was in so much pain, she was on maximum pain relief and she was still in agony," she explained.
"She wasn't able to walk or go to the toilet at the end and we couldn't leave her like that, suffering for any longer, knowing that the inevitable would happen."
Natalie described the men who attacked Cody as "very dangerous" but said the support her family had received was "heartwarming".
The support on Facebook, our community, the support at the vets, everybody has been absolutely fantastic. It does give us a little bit of hope that all humanity is not bad.
"So many people felt our pain," she added.
An online fund had raised over £2,000 towards vet bills for the dog, and Mrs Agnew, who has two young sons, said the family will never have another pet like Cody.
"Anyone that's had any contact with Cody knows that she was a special wee dog, there was something about her, everybody knew her and she was such an important member of our family.
"The children, their innocent minds have been corrupted, they don't understand it either, so for the kids' sake we might get [another dog] soon, but it would be very hard to replace Cody."
Her husband Martin says the family want justice over the loss of their much loved pet.
"If anyone knows anything they can still come forward," he said.
"Some sort of justice needs to be served."
Lisburn City SDLP Councillor Pat Catney expressed his sadness at the dog's death.
"I would like to say how sorry I am to the family who owned Cody and have lost her in such a cruel and vicious attack.
"Cruelty to animals is a cowardly act and should not be tolerated. The people that carried out this brutal assault on an innocent animal should be held to account for their mindless actions," he added.
Two 21-year-old men have been bailed in connection with the attack.
Police in Lisburn said evidence in the case is being processed and appealed for calm.
© UTV News