Star, the mixed-breed dog which was rescued near Ghar Hasan after having been shot, bound and buried alive, died this afternoon.

The sad news came less than 24 hours after hundreds of people took part in a demonstration against animal cruelty - the biggest protest of its kind ever held in Malta.  

Star, whose plight shocked the nation, had been under care at St Francis animal welfare centre and had been thought to be making good progress.  She was operated upon soon after the rescue, and 40 gunshot pellets were removed from her head. 

Star died at 3 p.m. today  after having suffered an acute inflammation in her pancreas which developed in the past few days.

Just last Saturday the dog spent a few hours with her new would-be owners in order to get accustomed to them and her new surroundings. But she then started throwing up and was returned to the welfare centre.

The dog's plight drew attention in many countries and many people had offered to house her.

The death of the dog quickly made it to the international media, including CNN.

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