The Telegraph reports
, David Gould, 49, was minding his own business, just milking his cows when Alan Jackson, a sheep farmer, barged into his farm with a shotgun and proceeded to shoot his much loved border collie, Poppy.
Seeing his pet dog on the floor bleeding, he ran to her aid, but sadly she died outside his farmhouse near Henbury, Cheshire. Police officers arrested Mr Jackson, 51, who insisted that he'd seen Poppy attacking one of his ewes. He claimed that he killed the dog to protect his flock.
Pellets from Mr Jackson's gun smashed through a window and became embedded in Mr Gould's wallpaper. Macclesfield magistrates court cleared Mr Jackson of all trespassing charges.
Brian Titford, the chairman of the bench, said:
“This has been a difficult case. It’s not in dispute you were in land at Underbank farm in possession of a shotgun and you found a dead sheep with the dog in the vicinity.
“You had strayed from a public footpath thus trespassing. However, given the lead up you had reasonable excuse.”
Mr Gould, said:
“I’m just so disappointed with the verdict. I don’t believe for one minute my Poppy mauled that sheep. Poppy was not only my pet dog but my best friend. He didn’t have to kill her.
“My frustration is that only two people know what happened — me and him. It’s difficult. It’s one word against another.”
At 8am on Nov 18 2011, Mr Gould was milking his cows when he heard the two gunshots. When he went out of the milking parlor, he saw his beloved dog lying dead on the lawn whilst Mr Jackson was standing near some silage.
Mr Gould said that he saw Poppy in Mr Jackson's field earlier in the day, but thought she was just sniffing a ewe - which had been dead for a while. Mr Gould said that Poppy was definitely not killing the animal. If she had of been, there would have been evidence. Poppy would have had blood around her mouth and fleece.
Mr Gould asked what Mr Jackson was doing with a loaded gun, but he just replied that he always carries one around with him. Mr Gould explained to Mr Jackson that if his dog had killed the ewe, then he would pay him back twice over. However, Mr Jackson replied saying that he didn't care less because they all say that. Mr Jackson showed no remorse. Mr Gould feels as though he is the one that has been punished even though it was his dog that died as a result of Mr Jackson's actions. Even the court took Jackson's side.
Mr Jackson told the court that he witnessed the dog attacking the ewe whilst driving past the field. He said that he shot the dog to protect his flock, which the law permits a farmer to do. He said that he opened fire on the dog when it was on the field, followed it and shot it again to finish the job off.
According to Mr Jackson's lawyer, Gwyn Lewis,
“Mr Jackson didn’t take any pleasure from this. He followed the dog and dispatched it to stop it killing his sheep and to stop its pain.”
Mr Jackson added: “It’s over with and I just want to draw a line under it.”