POLICE are appealing for information following a sheep worrying incident near Swanage.

A light brown dog, believed to be a Cocker Spaniel or similar breed, was reported to be chasing a sheep in the area of Hillbottom, near Worth Matravers, at 1.10pm on Sunday, January 14.

The dog spent 20 to 40 seconds attacking a sheep, which was left motionless on the floor, before running back to its owner who was described as a white man wearing a North Face body warmer with blue jeans and had another dog with him, which was dark brown.

The man put the dog on a lead and went back toward the sheep, but then walked away without checking on it and was joined by four other people.

Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, of Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team, said: “We are making enquiries into this incident I am keen to speak to the owner of the dog involved. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

“We would ask all dog owners to ensure their dog is on a lead whenever it is near livestock. At this time of year farmers may move livestock between fields so be extremely mindful to check.

"It is also important farmers report each incident to us. If a crime is in progress then call 999. Other incidents can be reported online at Dorset Police website ‘Do it Online’ section or by calling 101.

"If members of the public have any information or concerns regards dogs not under control near livestock, they too should contact police. Recent reports by the public have led to dog owners being identified, in particular capturing vehicle registrations. Anyone with information can also contact Crimestoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous."

Anyone with information about the incident near Swanage is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55180006836.

Dorset Police supports the Take The Lead campaign and can supply metal-backed signs for farmers to warn dog owners of the dangers. The Rural Crime Team can be contacted to request signs or crime prevention advice at RuralCrimeTeam@dorset.pnn.police.uk. This email address is not to be used to report crimes or incidents.