May 21 2013 Latest news:
Story by: ROB SETCHELL, Reporter
Saturday, May 19, 2012
VILLAGERS say they are living in fear of a savage pack of dogs terrorising Manea and killing family pets.
A kitten and a lamb were killed by the dogs on Monday and residents have formed a group to demand the authorities take action.
They claim to have reported hundreds of incidents involving the dogs to police and the RSPCA over the last six years.
But the dogs’ owner, of Station Road – she would only identify herself as Mrs Smart – said she had already destroyed one and claimed she had done everything possible to keep them secure inside her property.
Lesley Kennedy said she helped to form the Manea action group last month as villagers were becoming desperate.
She said: “This isn’t a vigilante group. We have put up with this for six years and we are really at the end of our tether.
“I’m afraid that one day something dreadful is going to happen. I didn’t want to sit around thinking we should have done something and so we formed the group.
“If you got everyone together who had been attacked by these dogs you would need to hire the village hall.”
Villagers said the dogs would frequently escape – biting people, killing chickens, tearing down fences and attacking other animals.
The dogs’ owner told the Cambs Times one had been put to sleep on Monday and she claimed an appointment had been made for Tuesday night at a March vet to have a second dog destroyed.
Mrs Smart said she was angry that villagers had complained to the paper and asked: “Why they didn’t come and speak to me personally?”
She accused her neighbours of “having it in for me” and said she worked out of the village and never had anything to do with its residents.
“They’re all a bunch of back-stabbers,” she said. “I don’t mix in the village, don’t have my hair cut there or do any shopping.”
"If you got everyone together who had been attacked by these dogs you would need to hire the village hall."
She said she had done everything possible to keep her dogs inside her property, including building an 8ft fence which they managed to jump.
Mrs Smart was distressed, she said, to be visiting a vet to have one of her animals put down. “It’s very upsetting and very personal,” she said.
One dog killed a lamb, which belonged to smallholder Caroline Mills, and injured two more in Monday’s attack.
Mrs Mills said: “I went up to my field and saw my sheep were behaving unusually. I carried on walking and saw what I thought was a wolf.
“I could see one dead lamb and the rest of the sheep were cornered in a pen. The dog approached me and I was cornered, I didn’t know what to do so I rang 999.”
Police managed to corner the dog using a net and shield.
Mrs Mills said: “It’s extremely upsetting. That was the second lamb born this year.
“She was a keeper – I would have had her for 10 years.”
One resident, who did not want to be identified, said she watched the dogs kill her pet kitten.
“They came into my garden when my kitten was asleep in the bushes,” she said. “They dragged it out and wouldn’t let it go.
“My son went running after them and they dropped it but it was already dead.”
Fenland Insp Robin Sissons said: “We are speaking to witnesses and investigating and we will take action to prosecute if appropriate.
“If we receive reports of dogs being out of control or being dangerous in public places we will take them very seriously and take robust action.”
The action group intends to raise the issue at a meeting of Manea Parish Council on Monday night.
They have also sent a letter to the dog owner’s landlord which says the “dogs from your property have run freely, menacing pedestrians and causing a nuisance in several properties”.