Marauding dog: ‘If we don’t get him this weekend, the army will have to be called’

A marauding dog, believed to be a St. Bernard cross, has been attacking a number of farmers’ sheep along the Carlow-Wexford border in recent weeks.

The first of the attacks began three weeks ago last Wednesday, according to one local farmer Michael Fagan.

Since then, the culprit has carried out multiple attacks, both at night and during the day. Any attempts to capture the dog or get a clear line of sight to shoot it have been unsuccessful to date.

It is thought that the dog escaped during the recent heavy snowfall and has been on the run since then, covering distances of up to five miles, Fagan added.

Speaking to AgriLand, Fagan – who is from the Kildavin, Co. Carlow – said: “We got within 20 yards of the dog the other day, but he got away through the forest; he knows his run by now.

“We’ve lost five sheep in total. Another farmer has had about 10 killed and 23 put down, while another neighbour has lost at least six. One other farmer has lost one – maybe two – and some spring lambs.

The dog is killing for sport. We’ve been out tracking him for the past two days. Our work is being neglected and we’re afraid to let out lambs.

Fagan and his family have even turned to staking out certain fields until the early hours of the morning to protect their sheep.

The speed at which the dog is able to get away and the distances it covers have meant that farmers have been unable to corner it. The attacks have also been reported to An Garda Siochana.

Concluding, Fagan said: “If we don’t get the dog this weekend, the army will have to be called in.”

A similar situation arose last year near New Ross in Co. Wexford, where a dog that killed over 50 sheep was shot after spending a number of weeks terrorising sheep in the area.