Village couple left ‘devastated’ by dog shooting

A FAMILY which has been left “absolutely devastated” after their young dog was shot dead want to warn other pet owners about the dangers of using a countryside path.

Gill Harrison was walking her 15-month old dog Archie along a rural bridleway near her home in Walkern last Tuesday afternoon when he disappeared through a hedge and into a farm.

Mrs Harrison, who lives in Clay End, called for the Bedlington Terrier and used a dog whistle but to no avail, so she called her husband Keith to tell him what had happened.

“I then got a call from a local number so I was thinking someone had found him,” said Mr Harrison.

“The man asked me if I had a dog called Archie and I said ‘yes’. He then said ‘I just shot him dead’.

“He said it was because Archie had been worrying his chickens.”

The couple confronted farm owner Jack Twomey who admittedly killing Archie, but was able to lawfully shoot the dog because it was on his land and had been worrying his chickens. No livestock were killed during the incident.

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“We’re responsible dog owners - if he’d come and said we’d have put him on a lead”, said Mrs Harrison.

“So many people use this path and I feel everyone should know. I can’t believe someone could do that, he was just a harmless dog. We are absolutely devastated.”

The couple, who have put up warning posters in the surrounding area, added that they had always put Archie on a lead when passing areas where pheasants are often shot, but had never had any problems around Clay End.

“There is no fence and there are gaps in the hedge so anyone could wander into the farm,” said Mrs Harrison.

Responding, Mr Twomey, who lives at Bridges Farm and owns free range chickens, said: “It was attacking my hen so I shot it, that was all there was too it. Initially I thought it was a fox so I got my shotgun and then saw it was a dog. I’m sorry that I shot it but it was attacking my hen.”