I write tonight, still in shock, and struggling to believe what has happened today… well last night to be more accurate. I warn you now, this is not a pleasant post and some … in fact most… will find it distressing.
The first thing I do every morning is to check the footage on my cameras. This morning, the first thing I noticed was that both of my field cameras, where I film the foxes, were facing the ground, in the grass. Occasionally, one gets knocked, but for both to be down suggested some very strange activity. I clicked onto ‘Playback’ to see what had happened.
What I saw is something I sincerely hope I never witness ever again and the images will haunt me for a long time.
I am not going to go into too much detail here, as a Police investigation is now underway, but I felt it was important that I highlighted the practice that I witnessed so as to raise the awareness of such crimes.
Last night at 11pm, three men, with 3 greyhound/lurcher dogs were hunting on the fields adjacent to my property. Armed with large torches, I can only presume they were lamping rabbits and then setting the dogs on them. This time their prey was not a rabbit, but my beautiful siamese, Lunar.
Before I had really registered what I was seeing on my HD camera footage this morning, I witnessed my cat being torn to pieces by two dogs, right in front of my camera, whilst these men watched on, making no attempt to stop their dogs. I obviously hit the ‘stop’ button as soon as my brain registered what I was seeing and I went into shock. Very close to vomiting, I was shaking and feeling sick. Gathering myself, I knew this needed to be reported and I rang 101. I knew this was the non-emergency Police number and also the number to report crimes to the Wildlife Crime Unit.
Someone will know these three guys and their dogs, but, for the moment, I am only going to release a single shot from the horrific incident last night. These guys saw the cameras and kicked them to the ground. Luckily they were not broken and all the footage was recorded.
Tonight, I have spent a couple of hours with the Police, handing over the footage from the two cameras I have on the area and submitting a statement. I can only praise the response from Staffordshire Police. The Wildlife Crime Officer has also been informed and I will be talking to him in the next few days. Hunting in this way, on land where you have no permission to be, is illegal. I know they did not go out to kill my cat, but any animal subjected to a death like that for the pleasure of someone else, to me is abhorrent and I simply cannot understand it.
I am not going to say any more on the subject today, as I am still in shock and the pain of losing Lunar, and witnessing her death, is very raw. What I am sure of though, is that I will be pushing to highlight this kind of barbaric practice and the importance of the public being vigilant and reporting suspicious behaviours, vans, people seen out in fields with dogs, lamps etc on private land or your land without permission. I will not rest until I feel I have done my utmost to ensure that Lunar’s death was not completely in vain and that we all become more aware of what we, as individuals, can do to help prevent such activity. This will not be the last you hear from me on this subject.
That is the least I can do for my beautiful girl….