A farmer has appealed to a dog owner to put their animals down after 50 sheep were killed on his Offaly farm.
John Healy from Moneygall was at work on Saturday morning when his mother rang to say she had spotted a sheep in her backyard; Mr Healy rang his two sons and asked them to go and check on the family flock.
What the two teenagers found was carnage.
“They’re dead, they’re dead, they’re all dead. There’s dead sheep everywhere,” one shouted as they made their way down the land.
In the distance were two large black dogs that got clean away, having killed 50 out of Mr Healy’s 120 strong flock.
“It’s not the dogs’ fault,” he told The Pat Kenny Show.
“The dogs’ instinct is to kill, to hunt. It’s fun, it’s a thrill and the dangers is these dogs got a taste of blood and to come in and kill 50 animals, they meant business and they will strike again.
“And there’s no doubt in my mind they will strike again.”
It has been a “devastating” time for the family and Mr Healy has a simple request to the dogs owners.
“Them dogs went home, them dogs had to be exhausted and they had to be covered in blood,” he said.
“And whoever it is, they have to know at this stage; just please put the dogs down because they will kill again, it’s as simple as that.”
Mr Healy notes that it is much easier to be a dog owner than a farmer and that currently “anybody can have a dog”, while farmers are required to fill in a lot of paperwork.
“If you wanted to get into sheep, first of all you have to register with the Department of Agriculture,” he explained.
“You have to have facilities… They’ll come out to inspect to prove that you have facilities to hold these animals.
“You have to have it properly fenced, you have to go through the rigours.”
Main image: A dog chasing a sheep. Picture by: Alamy.com