Prompted by a lost dog plea (which was subsequently found), local farmer, Rachel Hayball of Speckets Knapp Lamb posted her plea on social media, on behalf of all farmers dealing with their new lambs at this time –
“This is not aimed at anyone. Please do not take offence. I am so glad that today’s missing dog is back safe and sound.
Many of us [farmers] are getting very worried by the number of dogs going missing around Pilsdon and Lewesdon hill. Areas where dogs should be on lead due to sheep grazing on and near the hills.
Obviously, no one ever intends to lose their dog. But it happens. Dogs can get disorientated when following a scent, they can see something and give chase. Or they can just lose sight of you.
Once they are lost and away from you, who knows what they get up to?
Even the best trained dogs in the world can become over aroused and start chasing and even attacking sheep. They may go up to sheep just being inquisitive and the sheep, being sheep, will run away. This is often enough to get a dog to chase.
A sheep doesn’t have to be attacked to die. Just being chased can cause them to drop dead from shock. They can also abort their lambs…
Newborn lambs also have no chance to get away from a dog.
Please, please keep your dogs on lead on and around Lewesdon Hill and Pilsdon Pen. We [Farmers] shouldn’t have to constantly worry about our livestock potentially being at risk and your dogs need to be kept safe too.
I am a dog lover. I spent years working with dogs. My dogs are well trained and guess what – they stay on lead unless we are in a secure area.