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Owner’s anguish after pet hens attacked
A RYEDALE resident says she is ‘absolutely heartbroken’ after three of her pet hens were killed by what she believes is a dog.
Helen McGregor, who lives in Kirkbymoorside, said she was horrified when she discovered the dead chickens, just a year after the same thing had happened on her property.
“Our land borders onto rough countryside and a favourite dog walking route for people who go along the back of the boundary of our property,” she said.
“There is impenetrable rough shrubbery, brambles etc which form a thick, dense hedge between us and the land, yet still on occasions, dogs, which are not under the control of their owners, force their way through.”
Mrs McGregor said that last week someone’s dog had got into their garden and into the secure, closed chicken pen and killed three out of the four hens.
“We didn’t see it happen, but it was obviously a dog of some size as it forced its way into the pen by pushing the chicken wire off the wooden frame,” she said.
“This was no fox as we don’t even have foxes. It was clear from the pen that a human had then rolled back the soft mesh that covers the top of it and opened the pen, presumably to retrieve the dog.
“They didn’t even have the guts to come and speak to us and apologise. I can’t tell you how furious and upset I am.”
Mrs McGregor said it had been one year and two weeks since the same thing happened before.
“The irony about this time is that I have kept the chickens confined to quarters for the last week rather than letting them run free in our garden because it had become their habit to find a way out of the garden, despite various and vigorous efforts to stop them, where I was afraid that they would encounter someone with a dog,” she said.
“We really can’t dog-proof our garden any more unless we build an expensive, high and ugly fence round our whole property and I don’t honestly think that that would work anyway.”
Mrs McGregor said all the chickens had names and were collectively called the ‘chickie girls’.
“I am just infuriated that I cannot keep my own pet chickens in a closed pen in my own garden without this horror happening. “ Mrs McGregor said: “I have one little soul left so I suppose I have to decide whether to give her away or get her some new companions and risk the same thing happening. I just hope this pricks someone’s conscious and encourages dog owners to keep their pets on a lead.”
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