A YOUNG goat has died after being viciously attacked by a dog in its paddock in Swanage.

The incident occurred at Putlake Adventure Farm on Friday, July 24 as a result of the dog being off the lead and roaming the fields where the animals are kept.

The goat, which was due to turn one on August 1, lived at the farm since it was a couple of weeks old and was hand-reared and bottle-fed by staff.

This loss was devastating for farm tenant Steve Legg who discovered the goat, but is unfortunately something he has seen many times before.

He said: "Last year we lost one ewe and two lambs as well as another lamb earlier this year. It's disappointing as we have a variety of footpaths around the farm dog walkers can follow. They seem to take it upon themselves to wander around willy-nilly. It's irresponsible and some dog owners seem to have very little regard for the farm."

Numerous signs warning dog owners that their pets must be on a lead are dotted around the farm, highlighting the penalty faced if dog owners do not abide by the rules.

However, it seems that many dog owners choose to ignore these signs.

Steve said: "The signs are up warning people that dogs must be kept on a lead, but it falls on deaf ears. It's not all dog owners, but it doesn't take all of them for something like this to happen. The footpaths are there to be used and stuck to. The scary part is that we can't be everywhere all the time, but we are right within our legal right to deal with dogs who are in with our animals.

"There needs to be a wake-up call for people to realise the severity of their actions."

Above everything else, Steve has made clear that it is not fair on all the animals that incidents like this keep happening.

He added: "We need the public to be responsible for their actions."

Dorset Police Rural Crime Team continues to urge dog owners to be responsible when walking your dog in the countryside.

A spokesperson said: "Keep dogs under control at all times and do not allow them to enter a field alone. Make sure your dog is on a lead when crossing through fields containing livestock and if your dog has previously chased or attacked livestock, take responsible measures to prevent it happening again."