A dog owner was left distraught after a farmer shot and killed her Cockapoo when it strayed into his field.
Kerri Malley, 40, from Winterley, Cheshire, was walking her three-year-old Cockapoo Benji near a sheep field when he ran away after his face came into contact with an electric fence.
"I climbed through the hedge, the barbed wire and over the electric fence myself in hot pursuit of Benji," Kerri explains, "But I was unable to get into the other field, where the sheep were, as the mud was so deep".
By the time Kerri found Benji around 10 minutes after he disappeared, he had already been shot by the farmer who allegedly claimed the dog was worrying his animals.
When she asked if he had seen Benji, he allegedly said: "Yes, I've shot it, help yourself, it's in the back".
Benji had been shot in the face and was barely breathing, Kerri 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.
"What he'd said didn't register at first - I felt a huge sigh of relief, thinking that he would be in the back, with his cheeky face, knowing he was in some trouble for running off.
"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," she said.
"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."
"Benji was out of my sight for a maximum of 10 minutes until the time I found him."
Despite rushing him to the vets, Benji sadly passed away minutes after they arrived.
Kerri, a director at a car credit company, was walking with her sister-in-law, baby nephew, and their dog in Sandbach, Cheshire, when the incident happened on 13 November.
Cheshire Constabulary investigated and said the farmer "found a dog attacking a sheep" and was allowed to shoot it.
But Kerri claims the farmer told her Benji did not touch or harm his sheep - and is calling for a change in the law.
Under the 1971 Animals Act, 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 spokesperson from Cheshire Constabulary has provided the following statement:
"Officers received a report 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."
The farmer could not be contacted for comment.
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