Animal stoush


Three dead sheep, two attacked ponies, one euthanised dog and two heartbroken, neighbouring Arthurs Point families.

On Monday morning, Charlotte Meddings’ family woke to find their pet sheep Madeline had been killed.

Their two other sheep were at death’s door and two miniature ponies had “a load of dried saliva on the back of their necks” and hair missing from their hind legs, she says.

Blood and wool were strewn for about 80 metres down her driveway.

“We are absolutely devastated,” she says.

Nearby, Ben De Haan’s family woke to find their two missing labrador-cross-staffy dogs had been found and returned by a different neighbour.

It wasn’t long before the dots were connected.

Queenstown council’s animal control services were called and one dog was found to have blood on it.

“Animal control were confident it was the black dog that destroyed your pet sheep as the tan dog showed no evidence at all,” De Haan says on social media.

De Haan felt “morally obliged” to euthanise the black dog, four-year-old family pet Bessie – but says he wasn’t told he had to by animal control.

“We’re dreadfully sorry for our own loss but incredibly sorry for their loss too,” he tells Mountain Scene.

The dogs have escaped five times in two years, he says, and never “shown any sign of being aggressive”.

He says his family has always taken the “greatest caution” and even have a professionally-installed fencing system.

But that doesn’t cut it for Meddings.

She believes both De Haans’ dogs are responsible.

“I have no sympathy for them because I actually don’t blame the dogs, I blame the owners completely … the fact is they had no control over their dogs.”

She says it was “utterly avoidable”.

“I am absolutely terrified and basically just waiting for that dog to come back.”

The other two sheep had to be put down the day afterwards.

Meddings has gathered DNA samples from the “saliva” on the ponies and plans to request a DNA sample from the remaining dog.

In an unrelated incident, last month, Mountain Scene reported a Lake Hayes farmer had 27 lambs killed in one month by unknown dogs in that area.