– Someone had set him on fire

Anne Melsom Bjerke

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Skip, Buddy and caretaker Barbara at the DSPCA shelter.  Photo by Anita Bakk Henriksen
Skip, Buddy and caretaker Barbara at the DSPCA shelter.
Photo by Anita Bakk Henriksen

When Skip the dog was only a five month old puppy someone deliberately set him on fire and dumped him in a skip.


– In January last year we got a five month old puppy in to the DSPCA, who had been a victim of deliberate cruelty. Someone had set him on fire, and the little puppy had severe burns to his face and chest area.

The dog, who was later named Skip, received emerge veterinary treatment, although they had little hope of him surviving. But Skip had other plans. Barbara O´Neill who works at the DSPCA ended up fostering the then five month old puppy, and now he is living with her and her other dog Buddy – for good. He has made a complete recovery, and has even got all of his fur back.

– I was supposed to foster him until he was ready to be put up for adoption, but Skip never went back to the DSPCA. He is such a lovely dog, and I love every day with him. He is one of the lucky ones who made a full recovery, she says.

Barbara says Skip does not show any signs of abuse and that he interacts well with both humans and other animals.

– He comes to work with me every day, and he´s got no problem walking around the area surrounded by humans and other animals. I don´t think he is aware of what he has been trough.


Watch the interview with Barbara O´Neil and her two dogs here:


Head of education and media at the DSPCA, Gillian Bird says that they break animal cruelty into three different section, with deliberate cruelty being the absolute worst.

– We basically have three different types of animal cruelty. You have cruelty by neglect where people do not provide proper food and shelter for the animals. Another one is cruelty by ignorance where people have not done any research to have they will go about taking care of the animal, and the worst by far is where people are deliberately cruel to animals.

Gillian says they have many examples of deliberate animal cruelty.

– We see a lot of cases where people have stabbed or set fire to animals. We have had birds come into us after being fed bread with fireworks hidden in them where they ate the bread and it exploded in their mouth.


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Anne Melsom Bjerke