Hessett sheep farmer posts horror pictures after dog attack

Katie Mitcham-Henry  in happier times with one of her ewes
Katie Mitcham-Henry in happier times with one of her ewes

A farmer who witnessed her sheep being torn apart by a dog has posted graphic images on Facebook to raise awareness.

Katie Mitcham-Henry says she and two witnesses on Saturday saw the Doberman dog tear the head off a lamb in the road and her pictures show beheaded and disembowelled animals.

Katie, who co-owns Heath Farm, Hessett, with Mike Phillips, said: “The ferocity of this attack was such the first witness who saw it going on was so traumatised she couldn’t come out of her home.

“I’ve had enough of dog attacks. I’ve lost count of how many but this is the only one where we’ve had videos and witnesses to be able to take the matter further.”

She said the pictures she posted were ‘the edited ones’ and even they are too graphic for a family newspaper.

“I’m trying to raise awareness to what a dog can do,” she said. “People think their pet dog couldn’t do it, but it was someone’s pet that did this.”

Katie added that even if the dog only chases sheep, it can still cause injuries and result in ewe’s aborting.

“These are my pets,” she said. “The animals in question were for breeding purposes – they were going to stay with me.

“It’s a year’s work and I won’t get the bloodlines back.”

She is trying to establish a flock with particular characteristics by crossing breeds.

She added, emotionally: “I’ve spent the last six weeks lambing. I’ve spent 20 hours a day in a lambing shed, looking after my flock, then to have what happened to these animals is horrendous.”

She and Mike farm about 100 acres in Hessett, Rougham and Bradfield St George.

Suffolk Police said they were called to a report of a dog killing lambs at Bradfield at about 10am on Saturday.

A spokeswoman added: “Officers attended and have now spoken to the victim and to the owner of the dog. It is understood that the dog had escaped from a neighbouring property due to a fence blowing down overnight and the dog owner has since apologised to the victim.

“Police are currently investigating this incident to determine the exact circumstances of what has happened and will take appropriate action.

“Police are also reminding dog owners they are responsible for keeping their pets under control and are asking anyone who sees a dog attacking sheep to call them immediately.”

A survey by the National Sheep Association for 2016 showed 46 per cent of respondents suffered more than two dog attacks a year while two had had more than 100.

Katie’s graphic pictures of her mutilated sheep are at https://www.facebook.com/heathfarmsuffolk/posts