Updated at 4.19pm
A FAMILY IN Ashford, Co Wicklow say they’ve been left shocked after their pet dog was attacked by a pack of hunting hounds yesterday afternoon.
It happened at around 4pm when a hunt by the Bray Harriers club was taking place in the area. The family pet, a hypoallergenic dog named ‘Isabelle’ died from her injuries.
Club Secretary with Bray Harriers David Power confirmed that the incident happened, but said he had no further details and wasn’t at the scene himself.
“The dogs came in in two packs, one on either side of the house,” Isabelle’s owner Kayleigh told TheJournal.ie.
“They were totally out of control. They chased her until they caught her and basically savaged her.”
Kayleigh said that her brother and her father, who is in his 50s, tried to separate the animals, along with members of the hunting party.
Once the hounds were called off, the wounded dog ran into a nearby field. She was brought back to the house by one of the hunters. A vet who was with the hunting party briefly tended to her, but she died from from her injuries inside the family home.
“There were about four riders on horses I think. Another two horses without riders,” Kayleigh said.
“It was chaos. They were basically trespassing on our property.
Kayleigh, who has started a Facebook campaign calling for stricter regulation of hunting, says residents weren’t informed by the club that the hunt would be taking place in the area this weekend.
On the Bray Harriers website, a hunt listed for yesterday is still labelled this afternoon as ‘TBC’ and no location is given.
“That’s the most shocking part. No-one was aware of it. That dogs like this can run uncontrolled on roads and on private property is just incredible.”
Kayleigh’s Facebook page calls for the “shocking and barbaric sport” to be more strictly regulated, and for tough new laws to be introduced to protect people and other animals.
In the short-term, she said, the Bray Harriers and clubs like them should inform communities in areas where they plan to hold meetings.
She said that two of the riders had spoken to the family in the aftermath of the incident, apologised, and offered compensation for what had happened.
“What can you say though? It won’t bring Isabelle back.”
She said they told her they would be back in contact today, but as of this afternoon, the family hadn’t heard anything.
According to its website, Bray Harriers have around 100 members who are “mostly from the south Dublin and north Wicklow areas” and they carry out hunts each Wednesday and Saturday from October until March.
They also held a meet last Wednesday, while last weekend they were in the Roundwood area.
This article was originally posted at 3.30pm.