A Llandybie dog-lover has saved his pet from being destroyed with a heart-felt plea to magistrates that the animal be spared.
Paul Williams, of Caegarw Farm off Glynhir Road, appeared at Llanelli court to beg clemency for his 18-month-old Great Dane Lincoln, who killed ten sheep and injured another eight belonging to a neighbouring farm after escaping the family home on December 12.
“Lincoln did what dogs do,” Williams, 46, told magistrates.
“It was my fault and I am responsible so I should be the one being punished.”
Ellie Morgan, prosecuting, told how police were contacted at 10.30am by a concerned Llandybie resident who had witnessed the dog attacking sheep on Glynhir Road.
When police arrived they found one badly-mauled sheep lying on the roadside.
“It was in severe discomfort but still breathing,” Ms Morgan told magistrates.
“It was covered in blood and one of its ears was missing.”
The witness told Sergeant Ceri Howells he had seen the dog attack at least three sheep.
A short distance away, Lincoln was “standing in the roadway with blood around his mouth”.
“He was wearing a collar but had no lead,” Ms Morgan said.
Sgt Howells was able to capture the dog and tied him to gate-post using twine.
“But due to the size and power of the dog it was able to snap the twine and run away,” said Ms Morgan.
Sgt Howells captured Lincoln a second time, but the dog again snapped its twine leash and escaped.
When Sgt Howells caught up with the dog for a third time it had already been picked by Williams, who was unaware of the earlier incidents and was loading Lincoln into the rear of his car.
After being informed of the situation, Williams took Lincoln home while Sgt Howells traced the owner of the sheep.
Farmer Dilwyn Williams, of Caeglas Farm, carried out checks on his flock and discovered he had lost ten sheep with another eight left seriously injured.
Ms Morgan told the court Dilwyn Williams had faced bills of £70 for treatment to the injured animals and another £300 to have the corpses removed.
Ms Morgan said the farmer was also seeking £700 in compensation for the slain animals.
Paul Williams admitted “being the owner of a dog out of proper control” after a charge of “being the owner of a dog guilty of worrying livestock” was amended.
Williams, who owns three Great Danes, told the court he had been woken on the morning of the incident when the dogs had become agitated by “ten or 15 sheep” which had escaped their field and were outside his home.
After the sheep had dispersed Williams took his dogs – including Lincoln – for a short walk.
When he returned home the dogs were still agitated.
“I had the three dogs with me back inside the house, but I could not have closed the door properly,” he said.
“Once I realised Lincoln was gone I went out across the fields looking for him.”
Initially unable to find the pet, who had owned for three months after its previous owners moved to the United States, Williams went out again in his car and came across Lincoln in the road.
With the prosecution initially urging magistrates to order that Lincoln be destroyed, Williams pleaded that the dog be spared.
“He is a family pet,” said Williams.
“It is my fault he got out – it was my responsibility.
“I am to blame and I should be the one being punished.”
Following Williams’ plea, Ms Morgan agreed to withdraw the request that the dog be destroyed provided he promise “ensure the safety of livestock and ensure Lincoln is under control at all times.”
Williams agreed that Lincoln wear muzzle along with a collar and lead at all times when outside the family home.
“We will also take steps to have Lincoln rehomed,” Williams told the court.
Williams was fined £110 and ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £20 legal surcharge.
He was also ordered to pay £1,070 compensation.