Beloved pet dog shot dead at luxury Hampshire hotel
A family pet dog has been shot and killed in the grounds of a luxury hotel golf course in Hampshire, prompting a police investigation.
The four-year-old whippet, named Wilma, was killed just yards from her owner's garden, which borders the grounds of the Meon Valley Marriott Hotel and Country Club.
Wilma's owner, John Kirby, said he heard a gunshot, described it as a "muffled crack", followed by the sound of his dog yelping in pain.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he said: "I shouted Wilma, Wilma, but only Buffy [his other dog] came back."
According to reports, the hotel, which uses pest controllers on the golf course, has now suspended the service across all its properties.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Mr Kirby said: "I see pest controllers out on the golf course about once a month, on a buggy, and using lamps to look for rabbits.
"I also hear the occasional gun shot. However, on this occasion I had no idea anybody was there until I heard the gunshot."
He eventually found Wilma's body with a gunshot wound, covered in blood, beside a ditch.
"I just want to find the person who did this and ask "why"? How could you mistake it for something else? She was just a whippet and a really nice dog that was like a member of the family."
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, a hotel spokesman said: "Meon Valley is sad to confirm that an incident involving a pest controller and a local pet dog was reported to the police during the night.
"A full police investigation is underway and we have suspended all pest control at our UK hotels until this is complete.
"We are deeply sorry for the distress this unprecedented incident has caused, and we will do all we can to assist the police investigations."
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