Warning: Report contains images some may find distressing
Gardaí are urging all dog owners to ensure they keep their pets under control following a big sheep kill in the Adamstown area of Co Wexford- which saw the dog killed on Tuesday following a month-long vigil by local farmers.
Eamonn Furlong of Tomgarrow endured six weeks of hell after a German Shepherd started killing sheep on his farm.
'It began in the middle of May. A dog attacked a sheep in my field. He ran the sheep into an adjoining corn field.'
Eamonn told the New Ross Standard that he minded his sheep over the coming weeks but a second attack occurred.
'He attacked them again a fortnight later so, after that, we decided to keep a watch on him.'
The dog killed two hoggets and attacked sheep in Tom Doyle's neighbouring farm, killing three.
Eamonn and Tom sought support from local farmers to keep a vigil on the sheep. The dog warden and gardaí were contacted as the sheep kills were continuing.
'We were in the field every morning and every evening. Eventually, he came back.'
The dog was surrounded on Tuesday and shot dead having killed eight of Eamonn's sheep and lambs, while two are still missing.
Eamonn said: 'It caused me a lot of upset and stress. The sheep were all affected.'
With 250 ewes on his farm, Eamonn said he was very worried for their welfare throughout. He thanked Tom and all his neighbours for their help in bringing the situation to an end.
As the dog was not microchipped, gardaí and the dog warden Johnny Colfer have not been able to ascertain its owner to date.
Tom said 30 sheep were killed on the family farm in the 1980s, adding that the recent attack brought back memories of that traumatic time.
Eamonn urged pet owners to be more responsible: 'He caused mayhem on the poor animals over a six-week period - and on us. For God sake just make sure they know where their dog is at all times and don't be letting them loose. Keep the dogs under control.'
Gardaí are appealing to all dog owners to ensure their dogs are kept under control as nationally gardaí have received nearly 50 reports of livestock being attacked since March 2020. Inspector James White said: 'If your dog goes and attacks animals on someone's land, you could be held liable for the damages and face prosecution.
"The farmer is also within their right to shoot any animal that is worrying their livestock. Whilst you might think your dog is friendly and placid at home, they can cause horrific injuries to other animal. We would ask that everyone ensures their dog is kept under control as nobody wants to see animals being harmed.'
New Ross Standard