A FARMER has appealed for dog owners to keep their pets on leads near livestock after finding one of her sheep ‘gruesomely’ savaged by a dog.

Emma Jackson, who volunteers at the Mind charity shop, in Rawtenstall, said she was horrified when she returned from work to find several ewes covered in blood at her Stacksteads farm.

The 38-year-old mum-of-three said: “I came home to find one of our ewes on the side gate at about 5.30pm. It was bleeding to death. It had had its throat ripped out.

“It was a very distressing sight. The yew was in complete shock and she was shaking. It must have been a very vicious attack, from looking at her injuries the dog had first bit the back of her legs, and then she had turned to face the dog to protect her lambs.

“The dog had then bit her neck, it was a really gruesome sight.

“We had another dog attack about three weeks ago, it wasn’t as serious but it is worrying that they seem to keep happening.

“I would’ve liked an apology from the owner at least, because whoever’s dog it was must have known as it would have been covered in blood.”

The ewe was medicated with antibiotics and pain killers by the vet.

Miss Jackson said: “We made the decision to save her because she’s got two four-week-old lambs that wouldn’t have had milk if she’d have died.

“It’s a miracle she has survived. We trust people not to abuse the countryside. I hope that people will now start to take notice.”

A Rossendale council spokesman said: “This case highlights the importance of dog owners keeping their dog on a lead and under control.

“In Rossendale, dog wardens and council enforcement officers have powers to require dogs to be put on a lead on any land in the open air in order to prevent a nuisance or behaviour by the dog which is likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to any other person or the worrying of any animal.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.