Pet dog shot dead after attacking sheep in Irthlingborough field

Natalie Duarte of Irthlingborough with Max
Natalie Duarte of Irthlingborough with Max

Police are reminding people to keep dogs on leads following an incident in which a pet dog was shot and killed after an attack on two sheep.

Natalie Duarte was walking her Siberian Huskey Max, eight, and nine-year-old beagle Bailey in fields in Irthlingborough at about 1.45pm last Tuesday when Max ran off.

Max and Bailey

Max and Bailey

She tried to call him back, but Max was nowhere to be seen in the field behind Whitworths.

Natalie, who has had Max since he was a puppy, said: “I let them off and it was the last time I saw my dog.

“As soon as I let him off, he ran off and I thought he had gone to chase a rabbit or to see another dog.

“I was calling and calling, but he didn’t come back.”

Max as a puppy

Max as a puppy

She rang her partner who came out with his friend to join the search, but as they tried to locate the dog they heard two gunshots.

Police have since confirmed that Max was shot and killed following an attack on two sheep, one of which later had to be put down.

Natalie said her dogs mean the world to her, and added: “We are inconsolable.

“He must have been so scared, he was such a timid dog.

Max and Bailey

Max and Bailey

“He must have been trying to run back.

“I don’t know if it was close range or from a distance.

“It’s like I want answers, but then I don’t want answers.

“A lot of people walk there and it is all fields.

“It is such a distance, but if I could have run and followed him, I would.

“It is very tragic that they have lost an animal, but we have lost a beloved member of our family.”

Natalie said the loss of Max would have a long-lasting impact on her, and added: “Nothing can bring my dog back.

“But why couldn’t they have fired a shot in the air?

“Max hates gunshots and fireworks.”

A police spokesman said: “It appears that the dog, which wasn’t on a lead, had gone on to farmland and attacked two sheep.

“Dog legislation says that if a dog is worrying livestock on private property, the farmer is in his rights to stop it.

“One of the sheep had to be put down and the other one was injured.

“It is a reminder to dog owners to keep their dogs on leads.”

The spokesman added that no criminal offences had been committed.