The owner of a dog shot dead as it launched its third fatal attack on a flock of sheep within months wept in the dock of Lanark Sheriff Court last Thursday.
Rochelle Purdie, 31, of Gair Crescent, Carluke, had sat impassively through the descriptions of her husky cross-breed pet’s two previous attacks until details of its third and final attack were read out in court.
She admitted being the person responsible for the dog during the three incidents between December last year and August this year.
On December 18, 2015 at Bogside Farm, near her home, it chased and attacked a flock of sheep, killing two of them.
Another eight sheep aborted their lambs after the attack, and the farmer involved estimated his financial loss at £2,000.
Then, on March 7 this year at Hillhead Farm, Carluke, the husky attacked and again killed two sheep, leaving another five injured.
In that case, the farmer calculated his losses, including loss of breeding stock, to have totalled £8,200.
Finally, on August 19 at Bonnington Mains Farm, Lanark, the husky attacked a flock, killing three sheep outright and leaving another two so badly injured that they later had to be destroyed.
In that case, the farmer and a helper arrived on the scene during the attack, but their attempts to chase away the husky and another dog owned by Purdie, also a husky, failed.
The farmer then quickly fetched his shotgun from his farmhouse, returned and shot both dogs dead.
It was during the description of that last incident that Purdie broke down in tears.
The farmer, in this case, estimated his financial losses at £350.
The crown accepted Purdie’s not-guilty plea to a fourth charge that her husky had attacked and killed sheep at Carluke’s Bogside Farm again on August 6 this year, less than two weeks before its final attack at the Lanark farm.
The sheep killed on that occasion were three pet lambs kept in a garden.
The court heard that, on the days of the first two incidents, Purdie had phoned the police to report her husky missing, telling them it had run off.
At the time of the final attack, it was already subject to a council dog control notice.
Purdie’s solicitor, Elspeth Forrest, said that her client was on benefits and would be unable to pay full compensation.
Sheriff Nicola Stewart deferred sentence on Purdie for background reports until Thursday, December 15.