Man 'targeted' after shooting dog

AN ESSEX man claims he is being targeted by animal rights protesters who are angry he shot a woman's “out of control” pet dog.John Sait has been the subject of demonstrations and protests in Brightlingsea after he shot a German Shepherd dog on a field in Thorrington, which later died.

AN ESSEX man claims he is being targeted by animal rights protesters who are angry he shot a woman's “out of control” pet dog.

John Sait has been the subject of demonstrations and protests in Brightlingsea after he shot a German Shepherd dog on a field in Thorrington, which later died.

Mr Sait said he had been advised by his solicitor not to go into detail about the incident but he did not deny shooting the dog, claiming it was out of control and its owner “nowhere to be seen”.

He told the EADT: “My wife and I have been very distressed. I've done nothing wrong.”


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Animal rights activists claim he shot a local resident's dog after losing his temper but Mr Sait insists he was forced to take drastic measures to protect his own safety and his cocker spaniel from attack. No action is being taken by the police regarding the incident.

A statement issued by a supporter of Mr Sait, who did not want to be named, claimed he had been surrounded by three large German Shepherd dogs.

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She said: “As they came back to attack for the third time he [Mr Sait] fired into the ground to deter them as he was concerned for the safety of the landowner who was with him, also for himself and his young dog.”

The statement said “regrettably” one of the German Shepherds was injured and Mr Sait offered to help the owner, who was in an adjoining field, take it to the vets.

Mr Sait has owned a shotgun certificate for several years.

But Jan Middleton, owner of the dead German Shepherd dog, described Mr Sait's shooting of her beloved pet as “hideous”.

While she accepted she was not present at the time of the shooting, she denied Mr Sait's claim that her dog was out of control.

She said: “We live in a gun culture and what happened to my dog has been swept under the carpet. Where does this leave other dog owners? I made him [Mr Sait] come with me to the vets and it took my dog six hours to die.”

Val Oliver, a member of the East Anglia Animal Rights Coalition who attended one of the demonstrations, said: “I believe that justice has not been done in this case. A man who owns a gun certificate should not be able to shoot a dog like that.”

An Essex Police spokeswoman said: “Following an allegation that a German Shepherd was shot and killed on September 1 at Poplar Chase Farm, Thorrington, police interviewed a 66-year-old local man.

“Following this interview and an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the German Shepherd it was decided there would be no further action on the grounds of insufficient evidence.”

The RSPCA is currently investigating the incident. A spokeswoman said: “We are still looking into it at the moment and trying to ascertain what happened. Our prosecution department will be looking at the case file.”

It is understood it is unlikely the charity will take action.

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