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Pony dead after dog attack
Rottweilers destroyed after attack on Shetland Pony

Police marksmen have shot dead two Rottweilers after they attacked and killed a Shetland pony in a field.

Officers were called to the scene by a member of the public who witnessed the attack during the early hours of Sunday morning. By the time the police arrived at the scene in Haslingden, Lancashire the pony was already dead. Local residents had allegedly heard an animal in distress.
The owners of the pony have described their devastation and told of the shock on finding out. Vanessa Smith, whose daughter Shannon is the pony’s owner, said: ‘This has come as a terrible shock and has upset the whole family. It doesn’t even bear thinking about what would have happened if my daughter had been with the pony when those dogs attacked.’

The owners of the two Rottweilers have been traced and an investigation is now underway to discover how they managed to get loose from an apparently secure compound less than a mile away. A police spokesman has said it was a reluctant decision to terminate the dogs on the spot but says his team had to put the public’s safety first.

‘This is an unfortunate and unusual incident but as always our primary concern is public safety,’ said Inspector Dave Hodson from Rossendale Valley Police.

‘We gave every consideration to dealing with the dogs as humanly as possible but sadly it was necessary for us to take immediate action. I must stress this is not our preferred option but the dogs were considered to be dangerously out of control and we were left no choice.’

Inspector Hodson is eager to reassure the public that the Lancashire police squad are working hard to understand the full events of the night and how the dogs became loose.

Kimberley MacDonald, Rottweiler breeder and strong advocate of the correct training and socialisation of the breed told OUR DOGS: ‘This is an awful attack and has left a little girl’s heart broken and without her beloved companion. These dogs were not in a secure compound, and the word compound suggests perhaps they were guard dogs.

‘Lots of questions will surround this: how did they get out and why were the owners not aware they got out, I know where my dogs are at all times and none of mine have ever got out and that goes for all responsible owners; how long were they out before owners became aware? who bred these dogs? what training had they received? the questions are many.


‘Once the two had got to this poor pony, instinct would have kicked in and their adrenalin would have been pumping, and I can only imagine what the police marksman witnessed at the scene - they did the only humane thing possible in this situation. I’m sure that I am not alone in saying that all responsible owners and breeders are thinking of this family and the little girl’s loss and no words can make it right or her feel any different.

‘Any dog in the wrong hands is dangerous and this is what needs to change. Breeds such as the Rottweiler need to be harder to obtain, especially working dogs who have high chase and prey drives.’

Mark Weston from the British Horse Society said: "This is a truly horrific incident with tragic consequences.

"We are receiving more and more reports of horses being attacked by out of control dogs and I would urge victims to complete a dog attack incident report form on our website ( so that we can highlight the prevalence of this problem and educate owners who do not keep their dogs under control of the dangerous and tragic consequences of not doing so.''

Police are appealing to anyone with information about the incident, which occurred at approximately 1:40am, to contact them.