TWENTY-SIX lambs and sheep have been slaughtered in Pickmere by what police believe to be ‘dangerously out of control’ dogs.

Discovered on Thursday November 19, police believe the incident occurred sometime between November 13 and November 15.

Knutsford Police told the Guardian, that three sheep were ‘ripped apart’ by animals in a field, and that 23 more have drowned in a pond.

At the moment police are investigating the cause of the brutal attack stating that there is a possibility that a pack of dogs were loose but they are not ruling out the prospect that people may have been involved.

One of the scenarios suggested by officers involves sheep being ‘savaged’ in the field by dogs and the others drowning in the pond in an attempt to escape.  

Speaking to the Guardian, the shepherd Tom Ryan explained that the loss of the sheep alone could have cost more than £2,000.

Tom has since hired a digger to remove the bodies from the pond, and is concerned that the affair could cost him £3,000 in total. 

Chief Inspector Sarah Heath, rural crime lead for Cheshire Police, said:  “Sheep are valuable assets and any harm caused to them impacts on a farmers livelihood.

"It is every dogs instinct to chase, even if they are normally quiet and well behaved.

"It is an offence to allow a dog to worry sheep and we urge dog owners to keep dogs on a lead if the vicinity of any livestock. 

"This is a particular tragic case and we would appreciate any information from the community that may assist this investigation.”

Pc Jim Day, rural crime officer for Knutsford is currently investigating the case and has begun house to house enquiries in the area.

He said: “We are appealing for anyone who saw either loose dogs or people with dogs in the vicinity of the field on Pickmere Lane to call Cheshire Police on 101.”

PC Day is also urging people to remain vigilant in locking up their dogs so that cases like this can be reduced.

More to follow as the investigation continues...