Dogs rescued after fatal sheep attack meet rescuers one year on as they now seek forever homes

UK

An abandoned pack of dogs that were found roaming around southern Scotland have been reunited with their rescuers as they now seek forever homes one year on from their ordeal.

The six dogs were rounded up near Moffat on 9 July 2023 after four others were shot dead by a farmer following a fatal sheep attack.

The animals – four boys and two girls – were taken into the care of Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre (DGCRC).

Rescuer Lee Herron, of Lost Dogs Dumfries and Galloway, said the recovery involving Police Scotland officers and volunteers took several hours.

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The dogs when they were first brought into the centre. Pic: Lee Herron/Lost Dogs Dumfries and Galloway

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The dogs were found ‘exhausted, terrified, underweight and in terrible condition’. Pic: Lee Herron/Lost Dogs Dumfries and Galloway

Ms Herron, her husband Roger, Sergeant Iain Monro and PC Kelby Kirkpatrick were part of the operation that secured the hounds.

Now 12 months on, they have been reunited with the dogs.

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PC Kirkpatrick with Rae. Pic: Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre

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Ms Herron with Toffee. Pic: Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre

Ms Herron told Sky News the animals were “exhausted, terrified, underweight and in terrible condition” when first found.

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Staff at DGCRC have spent the last year working hard to build their confidence as well as encouraging them to play and interact.

Ms Herron, who has been volunteering to help with lost and stray dogs for around six years, said: “It took a long time to build their trust and secure them that day, it was a real challenge.

“It was clear they’d never been handled before or had a collar and lead on, however, they did really well and we were all so relieved when we had them all safe and secure.

“To see how they’ve improved is amazing. They are so playful and just want to have fun.

“I think people would be really surprised by them in comparison to the photos of that day last year.

“Myself and Roger absolutely loved spending time with them one year on and we really hope they can find the homes they deserve soon.”

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Mr Herron with Meadow. Pic: Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre

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Sergeant Monro with Charlotte and Rae in the background. Pic: Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre

Sergeant Monro added it was “incredible” for the group to see how much the dogs had progressed.

He added: “The improvement in their confidence is like night and day and they’re in such good condition now.

“You couldn’t get near them last year, but now they’re curious and they want to interact. We really enjoyed spending time with them.”

The dogs were given names with a Moffat connection. The girls were called Charlotte and Toffee, while the boys were christened Brodie, Glen, Meadow and Rae.

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Glen. Pic: Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre

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Charlotte. Pic: Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre

Following the incident, members of the public rallied to raise thousands of pounds to help with the care of the animals.

They are now seeking a forever home, with DGCRC hoping to see some genuine interest from prospective new owners.

The centre’s Emma Scott said: “It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since the Moffat six came to us. Their journey has been an incredible one, filled with small steps and significant progress.

“Although it’s taken time, they’ve made remarkable steps, teaching us invaluable lessons along the way.

“We are incredibly proud of their progress and feel that most of them are ready to embark on their next chapter. They deserve their own happy ever after.”

Read more from Sky News:
Scotland’s ‘loneliest dog’ finds forever home
Parrot that escaped home found five miles away after ‘wild weekend’

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Ms Scott said while the dogs’ progress had been “tremendous”, they will need continued support as they transition into their new homes.

She added: “They require a calm, patient adopter who lives in a rural area and can provide them with plenty of outdoor space to run and play.

“They all have their own unique personalities and deserve a loving home where they can continue to grow and enjoy life.

“If you have the time, space, and love to offer, please consider adopting one of these incredible dogs.”

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Brodie and Toffee. Pic: Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre

The Moffat six:
Charlotte: An active girl who loves a good fuss from her human friends. She is very food-focused which has made her training both fun and effective.
Toffee: A gentle soul with a really playful side. Her kind nature and love for playing makes her a real joy to be around.
Meadow and Rae: These two cheeky chaps are always up to something, whether it’s encouraging a bit of rough play or stealing blankets from the washing line. Their playful antics will never fail to bring a smile to your face.
Brodie: The most nervous of the six, Brodie has taken the longest to trust people. However, through a training plan based on positive reinforcement, he has made significant improvements in recent months. The staff at the centre celebrate every step he takes in his confidence.
Glen: The ladies’ man of the group, Glen enjoys the company of female dogs. His affectionate nature and charm are evident to all who meet him.

If you are interested in rehoming any of the dogs, contact DGCRC on 01387 770 210.

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