A couple who put their two dogs into a kennel while they went on holiday to their Andalucian villa were devastated to hear they had been shot by a farmer after escaping into a nearby field.
Chris and June Roden received the call to inform them about the deaths of Millie and her elder brother Benson when they were just a week into their month-long trip.
Mr Roden told the Daily Mail: "My wife and I are heartbroken – the dogs were inseparable.
"Their mother was a working sheepdog so herding sheep was in their blood. The farmer claimed the dogs had pinned a sheep down but that's rubbish – no sheep were even injured.
"They were members of our family and the farmer has executed them for no reason.
"The kennels boast about having a large training field to exercise the dogs, but you would expect this to be secure."
It was reportedly pointed out to the Rodens that their dogs could clear the four-foot fences during their last stay at the kennels, however they agreed their dogs could be exercised off the lead as they thought they would obey calls to return if they strayed off.
But kennel owner Les Childs said the two dogs made a run for it over the hedge while out on a walk. He looked for them for 20 minutes before driving to the neighbouring farm looking for them.
Mr Childs said: "The farmer asked me if I'd lost a dog. I said, 'No, I've lost two'. He told me, 'I've shot them. They are on the bank of the brook.' I was stunned. All I could do was fetch the van to collect their bodies. They were soaking wet."
Describing the incident as "awful", he informed the Rodens straight away, and said he could hear Mrs Roden "screaming in the background".
He added: "I've got seven acres of land which I use to walk the dogs and I've looked after 60,000 animals in the eight years I've been here.
"There has never been an incident like this."
The couple, who came straight home upon hearing the news, have since buried the dogs beside their home in Stockton on Teme, Worcestershire.
Section 9 of the Animals Act 1971 provides that the owner of livestock, the landowner, or anyone acting on their behalf is entitled to shoot any dog if they believe it is the only reasonable way of stopping it worrying livestock.
The Rodens have now informed the police and RSPCA of the incident and are calling for the legislation permitting farmers to shoot pets to be overhauled.
West Mercia Police questioned the farmer who shot the dogs but is not taking any further action.
But the RSPCA are looking into the incident.
Mr Price said: "The dogs were worrying sheep which I was responsible for. I have moved on from this now and that is all I'm prepared to say."
Read more at the Daily Mail.
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