Warning: This articles contains images of a graphic nature that may be upsetting to some readers. We have decided to publish the images to show how serious and devastating dog attacks can be.
A shepherd has spoken of her devastation after six of her sheep were savaged by dogs in Berkshire.
A dog walker found the sheep bleeding and suffering with serious injuries to their faces and legs by the Queen Mother Reservoir in Datchet.
Thames Valley Police and the RSPCA were alerted about the incident on Thursday 6 October.
RSPCA inspector Maxine Jones said: “A vet attended with police and were faced with a horrific sight – a poor ewe was in agony, she was bleeding heavily from extreme injuries to her face that were so bad her jaw was exposed.
“The vet had no option but to euthanise the sheep that evening to end her immense suffering.”
At this point, shepherd Hollie Levinge was reached and rushed to the scene.
‘State of terrible shock’
But when she attended to the rest of her flock, she found a further five of her ewes also suffering with severe injuries, bleeding heavily from their faces and legs.
“My ewes were in a state of terrible shock. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said Ms Levinge.
“I loaded them on to a trailer straight away and took them back to my farm, but they were so badly injured I had to have them all put to sleep too.
“I just can’t understand how somebody could allow their dogs to commit such a savage attack on six sheep. It’s just terrible.
“We are so devastated and can only hope that on hearing about this, people will take note and be that extra bit careful with their dogs.”
Inspector Jones said: “This is the worst attack on sheep I have ever seen during my time working as an RSPCA inspector. It is truly awful.
“We want to reiterate to dog owners that there is there is a very simple way to stop these attacks – keep your dog on a lead around livestock and wildlife.
“The aftermath of these attacks cause extreme stress, injuries and sometimes death to the sheep, as in this horrific incident.”
Appeal for help
Dog owners should also remember that they could be prosecuted and their dog could be shot if they are caught worrying sheep.
Inspector Jones added: “The dogs that attacked these sheep will almost certainly have been covered in blood themselves, so even if the dog had run off and attacked the sheep without the owner present, they would most certainly have noticed the blood.”
Anyone with any information about this attack is urged to contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018 or police on 101.