Owner’s anger as dog is injured by electric fence

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The owner of a dog that was injured by an electric fence used to protect grazing sheep in Seaford has called for the site to moved to an area less populated by dog walkers.

Mike Vallely was walking his dogs at Chyngton Avenue when his 14-year-old pointer fell into the electric fence.

Mr Vallely said: “Last Monday, I walked my dogs briskly past the sheep penned amid our popular dog walk at Chyngton Avenue in Seaford. My elderly pointer, Star, lagged slowly behind due to his age.

“Suddenly, I heard him screaming. He’d stumbled against the temporary electric fence and collapsed, tangled in its mesh, enduring repeat shock torture. He was in agony, too weak to struggle free.

“I was bitten on the wrist by Star and suffered electric shocks, as did my other dog.

“Finally, I managed to drag him free with a doglead. I then collapsed with the stress and exertion. A good samaritan helped me and offered to call an ambulance. My dog Star had fled. I found him covered in blood. The Stafford Road vet cleaned off the blood from his mouth. He also had a red burn-like mark on his shoulder.

“On Tuesday, I saw the farmer, who had already been alerted by a witness. He emphasised he had not chosen the problematic location, bang among a hundred-plus dogs and daily walkers.

“Star is now frightened to go on his daily walk. Please stop this foolishness.”

Seaford Town Clerk James Corrigan said: “Seaford Town Council has fully investigated the matter.

“The sheep are present on site for a few months, their grazing there is a vital to the restoration of this area of precious chalk grassland habitat. The locations we have the sheep in are rotated to ensure the whole site is restored eventually. This is a long-term project in partnership with Sussex Wildlife Trust.

“There are, however, signs warning of the fence and advising dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead. This is also important for other wildlife chased by dogs, ensuring owners clean up after their dogs and avoiding other potential hazards to dogs on the site such as snakes, foxes and badgers.

“While we are very sorry to hear about this incident, it was entirely avoidable by the dogs owner. It is also worth noting that the electric fence is not powerful enough to cause a burn, this may have been a friction graze.

“There are, of course, numerous other paths on the site suitable for dog walking on a lead as per the signs.

“The area where the sheep are can always be avoided by taking one of the may alternative routes as the sheep move around the site.”

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