Keep your dog on a lead – sheep owner’s desperate plea

CLEAN UP Tim and Gemma Watson, James Stansfield and his son Jack.  (d606a409)

CLEAN UP Tim and Gemma Watson, James Stansfield and his son Jack. (d606a409)

This graphic picture shows the horrendous injury sustained by a sheep at a Scholes farm after she was savaged by a dog left off its lead.

The dog jumped into the field at Shepherd’s Meadow Farm in Wellands Lane and attacked the flock in November.

One ewe had to be put to sleep and the other, pictured, was left needing extensive vet treatment.

The sheep, called Frances by her owners, the Watson family, survived her injury and has been nursed back to health.

But the family says dog owners are still letting their pets off the lead to run in the field and leave dog mess in Wellands Lane for people to stand in.

Farmer Gemma Watson said: “Our sheep are our livelihood and my pride and joy. We check on the sheep twice daily and we increasingly find them in distress or with serious injury.

“The ordeal was traumatic for the sheep but incredibly distressing for us and the dog attacks are becoming more and more frequent.”

Gemma said her sheep were terrorised by two dogs in one weekend while heavily in lamb, leaving them injured and stressed and at risk of losing their lambs.

She said she had made posters with Frances’s picture to alert dog walkers, but they had been torn down.

And she said dog owners could be sued by farmers if they trespassed and let their animals worry sheep.

She added: “We need to highlight the problem with dog walkers and remind them of their responsibility to keep their dogs on a lead and under control.

“The consequences of any dog chasing and worrying sheep is horrific.”

James Stansfield, who lives in Wellands Lane, said the dog walkers were also failing to clear up mess left by their pets.

He said: “It is a massive problem. The grass verges are full and it’s a health hazard. People just don’t care. I see them walking up and down and they don’t even have bags with them. It’s the owners’ fault and it’s disgusting.

“You have to keep your kids by your side because if they walk on the grass they tread in it.

“I want to get the message across that people should pick it up. It’s a nice place but people with dogs are making it disgusting.”




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