Dog owners have been fired a grim warning after a pet spaniel was shot dead by a farmer for allegedly chasing sheep.
English Cocker Tess was in the care of an Olney dog day centre and being walked in Filgrave with five other pets when she escaped under a fence into a sheep field.
Manor Farm stockman Simon Holden warned he would shoot if the dog walker did not get the animal under control.
“He gave me two minutes to reach her. I ran as fast as I could and got within eight metres of her,” said the walker.
“Tess had calmed down. She only chased the sheep once. Then the farm hand came over on a quad bike and shot her. Tess was still breathing. I begged for time but a second shot was fired and Tess died in my arms.”
Now police are investigating whether the farm hand committed an offence – or whether the 24-year-old walker should be charged with allowing a dog to worry the flock of 98 sheep.
Mr Holden, 47, said: “I didn’t want to shoot. I gave the young lady around 15 minutes to get the dog on the lead while I went to the house to get my gun. But I did what any farmer would do – I had to protect those sheep. It’s sad but it’s a warning to all dog walkers.”