Farm Ireland
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Thursday 19 October 2017

'They were family to us' - Couple devastated after pet huskies shot dead for attacking sheep

Warning: Distressing images

Andy Cullen's dog Rua. Photo: Martin Wood
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Andy Cullen and his partner Joanne Meade were left devastated when two of their pet husky dogs were shot after breaking into a farmer's field in Kildare.

The two, who run the Dublin Husky Rescue from Andy's home near Friarstown, Kildare, say they have been left numb after losing their two pets.

"Joanne saw that the dogs had broken through the fence around our house on Tuesday and rang me immediately. I rang the farmer who owns the land and told him I was on my way to get the dogs.

"He said that he already had people chasing the dogs and that one of them had a gun."

But, by the time Andy got to the field it was too late. "When I drove down to the field it was too late. The two dogs were laid out dead. They had been shot.

"I know sheep worrying is a problem for farmers, but I would have taken them to the vet and euthanised them. I don't know why they could not have been held until I got there."

The two dead dogs.
The two dead dogs.

Andy and Joanne kept seven huskies as pets, as well as providing a home to approximately 40 huskies at any one time. "We had seven pet huskies until Tuesday, when we lost Sabre and Rua. They were family to us."

IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey said that while a farmer is within their rights to shoot any dog worrying sheep on their land it's not a policy the IFA promotes. "We promote dog owners to act responsibly," he said.

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He also said any farmer who comes across sheep attacking or worrying sheep can shoot the dogs. He also said that in such an instance a farmer must report the shooting to the Gardai within 24 hours.

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