**I didn't want to read this story when I first saw it, but I'm glad I did

Evil thugs cut ears off Great Dane

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Samson, above, was attacked by a knife-wielding gang in Poleglass and had his ears hacked off.

We catch up with Samson and his new owner and discover how the dog has found a new home with a loving family in West Belfast.

An abused dog whose ears were ruthlessly cut off by sadists has found a new home with a local dog-lover.

Bernard McCrory from St James’ discovered the Great Dane, called Samson, at the Lisburn Dog Pound and now he’s part of the family. Bernard had not intended to get a dog for himself, as he was hoping to find a small dog to keep his ill father company. However, when he went to the dog pound he couldn’t resist taking the friendly hound back home to his wife and four kids.

“Actually he spotted me before I spotted him,” said Bernard. “As soon as I walked through the door he was up at the cage and the woman in the pound said he had never done that before.

“I fell in love with him straight away, and he loves us. We have four kids and they get on brilliantly. I brought it to the vet last week to have him neutered and the vet couldn’t believe his mood. He was so sociable, friendly and pleasant.”

This is not the first dog that the McCrory family have had – after their last dog died and the four kids took it badly.

“I wasn’t going to get a dog after the German Shepherd [their last dog] died two years ago. It broke the kids’ hearts. When I saw this one though I changed my mind and I’m glad I did.”

The name Samson seems an unusual name considering the Great Dane’s past but Bernard assured us it had nothing to do with the biblical story in which a blade featured heavily. Samson was the name of the family’s German Shepherd, and the children thought it was a fitting tribute. Bernard says that the dog pound were initially reluctant to let the dog move back into Belfast because they did not want it near where it was abused. He thinks the dog’s abusers were using it for dog fighting and cut its ears off as they were too big. However he does not think that the dog had the temperament for fighting.

“It looks like a dog out of hell, it is so frightening but in reality it is the total opposite.”

A spokesperson for Lisburn City Council noted that Samson had had at least three inches of his ears removed and described the state of the dog when they found it in the Poleglass area as “thin and malnourished”.

Chairman of the Council’s Environmental Services Committee, Councillor James Tinsley, said that he was pleased to hear that the horrific story had a happy ending. “In this case I was horrified to hear that the dog had had his ears cut off. I am delighted that a citizen from the city had a big enough heart to offer a very big dog a safe and secure home and would on behalf of Lisburn City Council wish to thank him very much.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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