Warning to dog owners as Aberdeenshire couple reveal devastation of attack on sheep

An Aberdeenshire couple are supporting calls from Police Scotland, NFU Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council for dog owners to keep their animals under control in the countryside.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 12:40 pm
Dog owners in Aberdeenshire are being warned to act responsibly in the countryside and keep their pets away from sheep and other livestock.

Mark and Alison have spoken out after several sheep on their small holding were left severely injured after dog attack in November.

The have 22 pure bred Texel sheep in an 18-acre field near to their home.

About half past three on a cold November afternoon Alison received a call from her mother-in-law to say that one of their neighbour’s dogs was in the field with their sheep.

Mark and Alison raced to the field where they found a scene of devastation.

Numerous sheep had blood on their faces, two were lying on the ground and one could be seen to have a significant injury to its face.

The dog, a small Border terrier, was now under control and tied to a fence post.

Its owner, one of Mark and Alison’s neighbours, was visibly upset and immediately admitted her dog was responsible for what had happened.

“There was so much damage. I couldn’t believe a small dog could have caused such awful injuries. It was like a massacre,” said Alison.

“Eight of our sheep had bites to their faces, some were laid out flat on the ground.

"Another had a more significant bite and had a gaping hole in its face.

"It was so upsetting. We had to get the vet immediately.”

Following a course of expensive treatment, the sheep with the most severe injury had to be put to sleep.

“She couldn’t be saved, she was left with a huge hole in her face, and her injuries were too extensive.

"Because we only have 22 sheep she was like a pet, always coming up to us looking for attention. It’s been really heart-breaking.”

Police Scotland, NFU Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council have now joined forces urging dog owners to act responsibly.

Council dog warden Gillian Abel said: “Keep your dog on a short lead if you are in an area where there are cows, sheep or horses.

"Wherever possible it is best to avoid going near areas where there are sheep.”