It never fails to shock me just how awful some people can be to animals, often for no reason other than their own sick satisfaction. When Margaret Ford contacted me to tell me what had happened to her pet dog Popeye I was utterly appalled. The following footage shows the moments when Margaret's daughter and granddaughter found their family's dog shot and buried in a shallow grave.
Popeye had gone missing from the family home in Angus, Scotland in August this year. He was fifteen years old and had been the family's much loved pet his entire life. Popeye was missing for almost a week, during which time the family searched and searched for him and repeatedly called the police and local dog wardens. It was so out of character for Popeye to disappear that the family feared something awful had happened.
Six days after he went missing Margaret's daughter and granddaughter came across a freshly dug mound of earth. Determined to leave no stone unturned in their search they started to dig, that was the moment they found the dog's lifeless body. Popeye had been shot at point blank range and stuffed head first down a rabbit hole before being covered over in the hope no one would find him.
Margaret's family called the police and after some enquiries the local gamekeeper admitted he had shot the dog. He claimed Popeye had been worrying cattle. The family firmly believe this was a lie. Popeye had lived on the farm for twelve years and had never once batted an eyelid at cattle, sheep or pheasants. The family also say he was too elderly to have jumped the fence into the field. Regardless of whether or not Popeye had been worrying cattle the fact is that for him to have been disposed of in this way is truly horrifying.
Margaret's family will have to live with the memories that this was how their dog's life was ended, in a shallow grave, stuffed down a hole. No animal deserves to suffer this way but for an individual to treat any animal in this way and walk away without so much as a slap on the wrist is what I find staggering. It makes you wonder what is wrong with people that they think they can treat animals this way but worse still is that the police issued no charges, cautions, anything!
I can't imagine what the last few months have been like for Margaret and her family but I hope the fact they had the courage to speak out about their ordeal could prevent another family going through the same nightmare they have.