A FARMING family has claimed that a dog walker left one of their sheep for dead after a vicious attack by their pet.

Police were called to farmland near Sycamore Gap, on Hadrian’s Wall, after the incident on the morning of October 7.

Anna Pattinson, of High Shield Farm, Bardon Mill, said a hiker raised the alarm after witnessing a black dog maul the Leicester ewe, which has been fighting for its life in the days since it happened.

“They just left the ewe to die,” said Anna. “The dog and dog walker were not on the footpath, and they should not have been anywhere near where this happened.”

The ewe, which is between three and four years old, suffered horrifying wounds, and is recovering after being seen by a vet.

Anna, who is married to farmer Jonjo, said she understood that after the attack, the dog and owner made off in a car, possibly stationed at the Steel Rigg car park.

She wanted to raise awareness of the legal obligations for dog walkers in the countryside - they must keep to footpaths while pets must be on a lead.

“A lot of sheep worrying goes on,” said Anna,” but we’ve not had a sheep mauled in a while. It’s very distressing. It’s quite hard to get close to her, as she’s quite shaken after the attack.”

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “On October 7 at around 10.17am we received a report of an injured sheep along Hadrian’s Wall, near Sycamore Gap.

“The caller reported seeing a dog running loose in the area. Officers have been in touch with the owners of the injured sheep and enquires are on-going.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or get in touch through the force website quoting reference 262 071020.”