Carluke dog owner must find cash for sheep carnage

One of the sheep killed by the dog on a Carluke farm in the spring.,
One of the sheep killed by the dog on a Carluke farm in the spring.,

The Carluke dog-owner whose pets caused carnage amongst sheep flocks has been given a deadline to find thousands of pounds to compensate farmers for their losses.

At Lanark Sheriff Court on Thursday, Rochelle Purdie (31), of Gair Crescent, stomped angrily from the dock after being told that she might have to sell her car and find a job to repay at least some of estimated £10,550 in stock losses.

Her husky cross-breed attacked the sheep at three local farms between December last year and August this year, with the dog and her other husky both being shot dead by a farmer during the last incident.

At Bogside Farm, on December 18, 2015, the husky killed stock worth an estimated £2000 and on March 7 at Hillhead Farm, Carluke, it cost the farmer an estimated £8200 in lost sheep and future breeding potential.

Finally, on August 19 at Bonnington Mains Farm, Lanark, the dog killed £350 worth of sheep before the farmer shot it and Purdie’s other husky.

She appeared for sentence on Thursday after background reports had been carried out and her solicitor told Sheriff Nikola Stewart that Purdie had shown remorse.

“She used the phrase when talking to me ‘There are no bad dogs, just bad owners’.”

The sheriff immediately responded: “And she is a very, very, very bad owner.”

The sheriff went on to comment: “I am sure they were lovely dogs - when they were not near sheep, I get it that she is sad about the dogs but it was she who put them in the position where the farmer took the action he did.”

She then asked how Purdie was going to pay compensation to the farmers.

The solicitor said that Purdie was not currently working due to “depression” although she had the opportunity to work for her father.

Her main asset was her car, worth an estimated £2500.

Sheriff Stewart further deferred sentence until February 9 to allow Purdie to explore the job opportunity and the possibility of selling the car plus any other options to raise money. She said that she did not want Purdie’s father to simply pay compensation on her behalf adding: “I want her to earn the money herself.”

She warned Purdie that, compensation apart, there was still a sentence to be passed: “Nothing is off the table. This is a very serious matter.”