The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: Jukes Mum on March 20, 2016, 08:29:44 pm

Title: Awful day
Post by: Jukes Mum on March 20, 2016, 08:29:44 pm
Was awoken at 1.30 to dogs barking in the field. Went out to find two terriers attacking Poppy sheep. They had ripped her udder off. She was due to lamb next week. The vet got the lamb out before he shot her. Sickened.
Went to check the other sheep this morning and they have killed one of those as well. Never seen anything as stomach churning. I know they are 'only sheep' but when you only have 8, they really are pets. The vet and the police were fantastic. The vet didn't hold much hope for the lamb but she seems to be doing really well (touch wood many, many times!). Have been tubing her colostrum every 2 hours (40ml) as per the vets instructions. After each feed she seems really hungry. Can I give her more than 40ml? Scared of overflowing her first stomach. We have a bottle, but the hole seems too big so will tube her tonight and get a new bottle/teat tomorrow and some milk replacement.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Brandi on March 20, 2016, 08:32:30 pm
 :hug: Oh my goodness, you must be in complete shock, how horrific and devastating for you, take care and wishing you all the best, small steps forward and big hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Sbom on March 20, 2016, 08:33:51 pm
How awful  :'( I hope you know who owns the dogs.......

 :fc: the lambs continues to do well, keep tubing little and often as they are greedy beggers with no full button!
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Jukes Mum on March 20, 2016, 08:37:04 pm
Thanks Guys, I'll stick to 40mls then.
Yes, we know who owns the dogs, but I have handed them over to the police. Wish we'd shot them but wasn't sure about the legalities. Unfortunately the last time they worried sheep it wasn't reported to the police so this looks like the first time its happened. If he gets them back they will be out and about again in no time :-(
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Sbom on March 20, 2016, 08:40:47 pm
I should bring the sheep close to the house and keep the gun cabinet key to hand.....your well within your rights to shoot them if they are attacking your stock. It's the clearest message to other dog owners to. I'd also be warning others local to you with sheep  :hug:
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Oopsiboughtasheep on March 20, 2016, 08:41:21 pm
Oh how awful for you JM. So distressing and your poor sheep. I hope your little lamb does well.  :hug:
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Hevxxx99 on March 20, 2016, 08:49:39 pm
How terrible! Deepest sympathies.

I am an awful person because my vengful neanderthal part hopes you get the opportunity to shoot the dogs. How can someone be so careless time and again? Sounds like arrogant disregard of other people's property and livestock to me.

Good luck with the wee lamb.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Jukes Mum on March 20, 2016, 08:55:04 pm
The sheep are in the field under my bedroom window so close to the house. I ran out and caught them.My fella wanted to shoot them after I'd caught them but you can't do that and I didn't want to risk him losing his licence. Had to make snap decisions and hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Just hope to god that the courts say they have to be destroyed. I love dogs, but not sheep killers.

Am I right to keep tubing her tonight rather than try the bottle? When I tip the bottle it drips out about 2 drips per second and I'm scared of her getting any in her under developed lungs.

The guy who owns them is a lovely, very well spoken older gentleman, but is an alcoholic and I think he sometimes forgets he's let them out.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Rosemary on March 20, 2016, 09:19:49 pm
So sorry to hear this - I don't know if it IS getting more common or is simply more public via social media.

A friend of mine found a husky in her sheep shed last weekend, eating a lamb. It had killed six out of seven lambs and savaged one ewe so badly she had to be pts. One or two ewes have since aborted.

The owner of the dog was horrified - it had slipped its restraint - and the dog has been pts and my friend compensated. Buta horrific incident.

I hope the wee lamby is OK.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: kelly58 on March 20, 2016, 09:25:03 pm
Little sweetheart,  so sorry you must be in total shock  :hug: Now they have had a taste for attacking sheep who knows what they are capable of next !  Its horrific, this seems to be getting more common as its been on the news several times recently.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: CarolineJ on March 20, 2016, 09:50:31 pm
So sorry to hear this :(  Fingers crossed the police/court take the appropriate action.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: SallyintNorth on March 20, 2016, 10:02:27 pm
What a horrible thing to have happen - to your sheep and to you both.   :hug:

It is utterly awful when you've hundreds of sheep, too, by the way.  You spend all your energies caring for and nurturing these animals, planning your tupping and anticipating the lambing...  It's utterly sickening, in every sense of the word, when something like this happens, whether you've 8 sheep or 50 or 200.

There is certainly more on social media, but I can tell you that the message doesn't seem to be reaching dog owners.  I was incandescent with rage at two lots of owners yesterday. 

The first was on the private access track to where I keep my sheep, with a Boston Terrier off-lead.  She was about 30 yards from the nearest sheep at that point, with a stock fence and a galvanised gate between them.  She leashed the dog when she heard the quad bike approaching.  She was just being nosy, she said, clearly utterly bemused as to why I would be so angry and shouting at her to keep her dog leashed anywhere near sheep at lambing time.  (Not to mention not trespassing off the public walkways, especially at lambing time, and with a dog.)

The second owner was some distance from the sheep's field, but in countryside where they couldn't know how far the nearest sheep might be.  They leashed their Skye Terrier as they heard the quad bike approaching (this is a regular thing and it makes my blood boil.  They know their dogs should be on a lead and only leash them when they hear or see the farmer approaching.  :rant: :rant:)   I said nothing, except with my expression, but further down the track I found a small white terrier running about.  Sure enough, this belonged to the same people.  It was several hundred yards away from them, completely out of their sight.  I said a bit more about this one.

There was some stuff on Facebook recently, where a Husky had been shot dead as it attacked sheep.  The owner couldn't understand why the farmer had shot it, all he'd have needed to do was fire over its head and it would have run away, she said. 

I'm a bit emotional due lack of sleep due lots of pet lambs (too many triplets!) and just generally being lambing time.  But I am so worried that we're losing this one, along with so many others.  More and more people are getting out of farming; it's becoming an untenable lifestyle, and not just financially.

Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Tim W on March 20, 2016, 10:04:00 pm
A common occurrence unfortunately
Since November the count here is 8 dead, 20+ stitched up , countless jabbed with AB for bites

Please report to NSA as well, they keep a growing database in an effort to increase awareness, penalties and to try and find ways to address this problem

Good luck
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: moprabbit on March 20, 2016, 10:04:35 pm
What a dreadful thing to happen. Hope the lamb is OK.  My thoughts are with you.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Womble on March 21, 2016, 08:32:46 am
My fella wanted to shoot them after I'd caught them but you can't do that and I didn't want to risk him losing his licence. Had to make snap decisions and hindsight is a wonderful thing.

What a horrible situation, but even in hindsight, you made the correct decision!

This was discussed on another thread recently. Once you've caught the dogs, they're not posing any danger to your sheep, and thus you can't shoot them. If you see them worrying your sheep again of course, and then you're well within your rights.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: waterbuffalofarmer on March 21, 2016, 09:03:29 am
I am so sorry to hear this., people just dont realize the impact it has on others lives. I hope that you get justice for this, as it really is horrible thing to happen. Here is hugs to you both :hug: :hug: :hug: I have had problems with dogs a few times one of which was a rotweiler, but he never harmed any sheep to my knowledge. The owner was partially deaf but used it as an excuse to ignore me when I said he was tresspassing, on many occasions in my field. I had another case were a lady built a gate onto my land from her own and let her dogs loose on it crapping in it too. I have had words with her, however she is a horrible woman and doesnt listen to anyone at all, it is also rented land. I was thinking of putting up a fence in front of that gate as she has no right of access. She has been a real thorn in my side for the past 12 years. I lost a sheep due to its eating dog poop which was around the time she let them loose in the field. Another case of sheep worrying the year before last was an expensive dog  possibly a dogue de bordeaux young dog still a pup, which cornered a sheep and the sheep was terrified and i managed to chase it away with a large stick. I told the owners, as it had gone missing, that if I saw it on my land again I would shoot it. I have never seen it or them since!
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: DavidandCollette on March 21, 2016, 09:12:03 am
Truly awful for you. I hope the little lamb survives. I only have seven sheep and two goats but would be devastated if they were attacked.  Take care :hug:
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: harmony on March 21, 2016, 09:28:53 am
My parents farmed with a public right of way right passing the farm in a busy tourist area so I grew up with the problem of dogs.


With all the social media and opportunities for an campaign why does the message not get across?


I think partly people don't really believe "their dog" would do such a thing so it isn't relevant to them. We don't hear enough about what happens if owners are traced. So, often the damage is done and there is no sign of dog or owner. People might see the pictures of dead and injured sheep but pictures of dead dogs would get the message over quicker.


I honestly don't think there is an easy answer. People know drinking and driving kills, speeding kills, smoking damages your health but it still happens.


I haven't seen any signs out yet but the hill farms haven't got going yet with lambing but the signs I have seen in the past could be improved. Tell people their dogs can be shot, they will have to compensate the farmer and typical costs etc but at the end of the day the problem will always be catching them.


Really sorry for everyone's losses. And some are made sadder because they are your neighbours and if they don't care what chance is there with Jo Public?



Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Jukes Mum on March 21, 2016, 11:52:33 am
Well, tiny lamb made it through the night and her chest sounds really clear today (as does her ridiculously loud bleet!). Have been out and bought Lamlac and a new bottle. Next feed due at 12 so I will try the bottle. Still terrified of drowning her! Wish me luck!
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: waterbuffalofarmer on March 21, 2016, 11:54:40 am
All the best and I am so glad all is working out well for you. I had a premature calf last week and had to spend all day nursing her, it did pay off and she is growing beautifully now, still drinking 2 litres 3 times a day, as her stomach isn't as big as the other calves.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: OhLaLa on March 21, 2016, 02:48:55 pm
Very sorry to read this, if they return don't take any chances returning them or they might be back again.
Best wishes.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Penninehillbilly on March 21, 2016, 03:11:17 pm
Too sickened to think of anything to say but sorry for your loss a good luck with baby.
Like many others I wish there was more farmers could do about loose dogs
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Jukes Mum on March 21, 2016, 04:28:28 pm
The dogs were seized by the police so I guess I just have to wait to hear what will happen next. I'd hope that they'd inform me if they are returned to the owners  ???

They have just been to collect the sheep's bodies so I guess it is over now and we can move on. Good to have this little one to focus on
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: waterbuffalofarmer on March 21, 2016, 05:21:24 pm
Yes that is good news. I think that the police if they have seized the dogs and the carcases they are preparing a case for the courtroom and using the carcases as evidence. I think the dogs will be destroyed because as you said this isn't the first time it has happened. The owner is clearly irresponsible and he may even get prosecuted. It could be a long few months. I hope everything turns out well  and all the best with the little one she is soooooo cute and cuddly, you have indeed done a marvellous job, well done! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: cans on March 21, 2016, 05:55:18 pm
Wee lambie is gorgeous, hope she is taking the bottle ok. 
Really sorry about her circumstances though    :hug:
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: ladyK on March 21, 2016, 06:37:07 pm
How very awful... for you and your sheep!
Good luck with the tiny one, hope it pulls through.  :fc:
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Red on March 21, 2016, 09:40:16 pm
The lamb is beautiful! If you know who's the owner is then get an article in the local paper and radio ... We need to start naming and shaming ... A local greyhound rescue has taken this tact and it works X
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Dans on March 21, 2016, 10:27:29 pm
So sorry to read this. We have only had our sheep a month or so but I can't imagine how horrific this must be. So glad that little lambie is doing ok

Dans
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Jukes Mum on March 23, 2016, 09:53:06 am
Little Orphan Annie has indeed taken well to the bottle. She'd suck the life out of anything, bless her! The boy spaniels do not seem to mind her attempts at their manhood!

On a significantly less pleasant note, the police called last night. The dogs have been returned to the owners who were apparently "very apologetic". I asked what I can do to get this to court and he said that it is not up to me, it is up to the "decision marker".
I know for a fact that they will get out again (and now they have killed....). When we have returned them before the owner has said "I keep blocking up the hole they get out of but they always find somewhere else".
They police said that if I see them again we should shoot them, but obviously I'd need to see them before they kill my sheep! What do I do when the rest of the lambs are born (due this weekend)? Keep them locked up in a terrier proof unit?!
As well as killing 2 of my sheep (only one can be used as evidence as we didn't see them kill the other one so it may have been a coincidence!) they also killed another in the field behind my boys and ran amok through the field opposite and the ewes in there have been aborting since. The other farmer won't report it as he says there's no point if it wasn't witnessed.
Feel sick.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: SallyintNorth on March 23, 2016, 10:29:55 am
I feel sick with and for you.   :hug:  :bouquet:

It's an utterly horrible situation.  It'd be enough to make me think about giving up.  I'm sure we'd all shoot a dog that was worrying our sheep (if we had a gun handy, a license to use it and the skill to do the job required) but that doesn't mean any of us would be happy to do so, nor that we wouldn't be haunted by the events, whether or not we got the dog(s) shot.

The only tiny glimmer of light is that the owners must now be quite sure that you will indeed shoot their dogs if they get among your sheep again.  If they do care about their dogs, that should make them take extra care to keep them locked up.  :fc:
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Bionic on March 23, 2016, 11:01:37 am
This is really horrific. I feel for you and the sheep.

On a more positive note, someone with Ryelands recently had a dog owner taken to court where a similar thing had happened. The woman was pleading not guilty up until the court day and then changed her plea. She was fined 1000 which included the 350 pound vets bill.

Lets hope the decision makes decide to take this to court too. It looks like you have plenty of evidence.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Penninehillbilly on March 23, 2016, 11:08:09 am
Are they paying costs and replacements then.?
The laws are ridiculous, protecting perpetrator more than victim.

Do you know where the are getting in? Would it be worth putting an electric fence round the outside of your fence?
Or get a fox trap? If it just happens to catch a terrier, that terrier might just disappear?
Can the dog owners see onto your land? How about 'shooting a few rabbits' somewhere where they can see?
What the h*ll were dogs doing out at that time of the night/morning anyway???!!!
So frustrating

Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: landroverroy on March 23, 2016, 12:20:03 pm
As to the legalities of shooting the dogs - as you say - once you have caught the dogs they are no longer a threat. I actually know of a farmer whom the RSPCA took to court under similar circumstances. :rant:
However, the best advice I've heard is to shoot the dogs and then put some fleece in their mouths. Obviously you do not mention that you'd caught the animals alive. You shot them while worrying the sheep (as evidenced by the fleece) and then merely retrieved their bodies.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: lord flynn on March 23, 2016, 12:52:47 pm
I've a gelding that likes to 'play' with dogs that you can borrow to out in their garden, see how they like their dog being used as a 'play' thing?! This makes me so cross, dog owners are so bloody entitled anyway most of them, if they can't stop is going out it must be on a lead, even in their garden.


anyone your way doing fox control? I'd get them out lamping overnight..
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: waterbuffalofarmer on March 23, 2016, 12:58:05 pm
You need the other farmer on hand and you both need to press charges and write to your local mp. Also you could write a letter to the head of police in the next county and in your area explaining everything. Did you have any pictures of the dog attack (ie did you take any pictures of the dead ewe? ) this cant be let go, i am surprised at the police for not putting them down. You could also get the vet on hand as well as he would testify in court as to the state of the ewes. It is your right to have them put down. It needs to be dealt with, you cannot let this thing go. It might be worth having a lawer/solicitor on board too. I hope it all works out well for you and your neighbours and i hope the rest of lambing goes well. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: TheSmilingSheep on March 23, 2016, 01:28:21 pm
As everyone says - so sorry for what you've had to go through - and so pleased to read that your orphan lamb is beginning to thrive.

On a legal note - whilst a criminal case might lay in the hands of the 'decision makers', if you had the energy I imagine that you could start a civil action for trespass/damage etc... in the small claims court. Prior to such a thing you should send a 'letter before action' to the dog owners setting out your claim.  There's no reason why you should be out of pocket for ANYTHING (including your time off work dealing with everything etc.) and I suspect that the guilt, embarrassment and general seriousness of receiving such a letter might mean that (a) they settle up with you immediately (and I KNOW it's not about the money) and (b) they realise that in every sense of the word their dogs' behaviour is completely unacceptable and they as owners are completely responsible....  good luck whatever you decide to do....
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Jukes Mum on March 23, 2016, 04:27:38 pm
I'm at work so can't respond to all of the above but basically yes, I will get compensation, but that is not what is keeping me awake at night. I know they will be back. I can't sit up all night waiting for them either.
I have been in touch with a dog law specialist today and he has advised to contact the police to discuss a complaint under Section 2 of the Dogs Act 1871. I'll keep you posted.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Marches Farmer on March 23, 2016, 07:13:32 pm
I'd be inclined to make as much noice as possible as loudly as possible, not just legally but around the neighbourhood, tell the postie and the shopkeepers, etc. 
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Tippytoad on March 23, 2016, 10:44:25 pm
So so sorry to hear this :-( good luck with the lamb. x  :hug:
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: OhLaLa on March 24, 2016, 01:25:22 pm
Very saddened to read no action will be taken but not surprised. It doesn't matter how 'nice' or 'apologetic' the owner is. Facts are facts, and those dogs are sheep worriers - sheep killers.


So, now, if it was me then I'd buy a humane fox trap (or two). HUMANE so if something else wanders into it you can release it unharmed.


Place them where you think the dogs might pass (bait them with something they will sniff out, i.e. a tempting smelling treat). Don't put them where a lamb might wander into them.


Once the dogs are in there - your choice - I know what mine would be.


My very best wishes to you and your flock. I truly hope all goes well for you all.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Penninehillbilly on March 24, 2016, 03:56:05 pm

So, now, if it was me then I'd buy a humane fox trap (or two). HUMANE so if something else wanders into it you can release it unharmed..

Sorry, when I suggested fox trap i thought they were all live traps, only ones I've seen pictures of.
Title: Re: Awful day- UPDATE
Post by: Jukes Mum on July 21, 2016, 08:57:43 am
Thought I'd just update on this.
The police have informed me that both dogs involved have now been put to sleep under the advice of the dog warden.
I was asked if I would like to pursue the case further. I think the owners have suffered more than enough by losing their pets so I won't be taking it any further. It is so sad and such a shame that this has happened just because of their stupidity.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: DavidandCollette on July 21, 2016, 09:38:13 am
I think that you did the right thing.never mind the dog owners you don't need any more hassle :hug:
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: SallyintNorth on July 21, 2016, 09:40:28 am
Best outcome to a truly horrible situation.  I'm glad you won't have to worry about these two dogs coming a-visiting again.  Let's hope the owners have learned their lesson.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: devonlady on July 21, 2016, 10:17:19 am
Too many folk come to live in the country so that their children and dogs can "have a bit of freedom", they don't see (how can they?) what may come of this. They start out full of happy dreams and are not only devastated but amazed when their child drowns in a slurry pit or when one of their dogs who wouldn't harm a fly kills livestock.
As my Dad would say, it's not intention but ignorance.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: silkwoodzwartbles on July 21, 2016, 12:07:07 pm
Good outcome and I hope the rest of lambing went ok for you - how's Orphan Annie doing now?
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Jukes Mum on July 21, 2016, 12:15:44 pm
That's what is so frustrating in this case. I am a dog lover and it wasn't the dogs' fault as such, but the stupidity of the owners. Such a shame.
Here's hoping that they don't get more dogs!
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Victorian Farmer on July 21, 2016, 12:41:28 pm
To common naw shoot and Berry them no fuss sad for you're loss
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Hellybee on July 21, 2016, 09:30:14 pm
So sorry to hear this, hope bub is going from strength to strength.   Relieved for you that they have been destroyed.  Take care  :bouquet:
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: Jukes Mum on July 22, 2016, 09:57:17 am
Little Orphan Annie is now Enormous Orphan Annie. She's the same size as the lambs raised on their mums which we are pleased with. She'll still come over for a head rub, but isn't a pain like bottle lambs can be. She is still rather cute, I'll take a piccie later.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: lord flynn on July 22, 2016, 10:28:15 am
I am glad the lamb is doing well and that its over. 

There's apparently been a big rise in sheep worrying around Biggar this year (where I live) due to a new housing estate 'displacing' dog walkers. There really is no excuse and the problem of clueless owners and untrained/unsuitable dogs will not go away soon.
Title: Re: Awful day
Post by: waterbuffalofarmer on July 22, 2016, 12:14:40 pm
Little Orphan Annie is now Enormous Orphan Annie. She's the same size as the lambs raised on their mums which we are pleased with. She'll still come over for a head rub, but isn't a pain like bottle lambs can be. She is still rather cute, I'll take a piccie later.
Oooooh yes pleae, would love to see a pic of her, congrats!