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Farmer blasts family dog in face with shotgun after it strays onto his field

A dog owner was left distraught after a farmer shot and killed her tiny cockapoo when it strayed onto his field.

Kerri Malley, 40, was walking Benji near a sheep field when he bolted away from her.

She says the three-year-old pooch ran off when it got a shock after it touched an electric fence on November 13.

But by the time she found him ten minutes later in Sandbach, Cheshire, she says he had been shot in the face by the farmer.

Police investigated and said the farmer "found a dog attacking a sheep" and was allowed to shoot it.

Mum-of-three Kerri said she entered the field waving her arms to attract the farmer, who was stood by his Land Rover.

When she asked him if he'd seen her pet, she claims he smiled and said "Yes, I've shot it, help yourself, it's in the back".

Kerri, of Winterley, Cheshire, said when she looked in the trailer she saw Benji had been shot and was barely breathing.

She rushed him to the vets but he died just minutes after they arrived.

Kerri, a director at a car credit firm, said: "My Benji was lying there, having been shot in the face.

“I fell to my knees in complete shock of what I was witnessing.”

She added: “I went to remove Benji's collar and couldn't believe he was still breathing.

“His eyes were still open and he was losing a lot of blood.

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"We raced out the field with him in my husband's arms and took him straight to the vets.

"The vets did everything in their power to save him but the damage done by the shotgun made that impossible for them.”

Kerri added: “I find it incredibly hard to stomach that a burly farmer such as this had him within reach to kick, but not to grab him and place him in the back of the Land Rover.

"I think there needs to be a greater awareness to dog owners of the implications when choosing to let your dog off its lead.”

She added: “I am not condoning sheep worrying and its lack of importance, but there has to be a more humane way to deal with it in this day and age, so innocent family pets are not killed unnecessarily.”

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Kerri insisted the cockapoo did not touch the flock of sheep in the field.

She said one sheep was in a muddy pond when she arrived but it freed itself.

Under the Animals Act 1971 it is legal to shoot a dog that is 'worrying' livestock, if the farmer believes sheep were in immediate danger and the actions were reasonable.

A Cheshire Constabulary spokesman said: "Officers received a report was received at around 2.30pm on Friday 13 November in the Sandbach area, a farmer had found a dog attacking a sheep.

"The farmer, unable to contain the dog and in order to protect the livestock, shot the dog in accordance with the Animals Act 1971 which resulted in the dog's death.

"The farmer immediately informed the police, officers carried out an investigation and found that no criminal offences had taken place.

"The owners of the dog have been informed.

"During the course of the investigation, further reports of malicious communications were made and enquiries are ongoing."

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