A man has been fined more than $1000 after his dog mauled a deer leading to it being euthanised.
Franck Hiribarne, 44, from Kingston in England, faced court on Friday over the October 23 incident.
Video shared by Richmond Upon Thames Police shows Hiribarne’s dog Alfie, a Red Setter, running to attack a deer – biting it on the tail and barking at Richmond Park.
Several bystanders intervene to protect the deer. It tries to get up and walk away but is struggling to flee as police said it was hit by a car after earlier trying to escape the dog.
“These witnesses later described the dog as ‘relentless’, attacking and biting the deer from behind, dragging her backwards, jumping up, and lunging at her, and continuously running around her attempting to get her,” police said.
“Sadly, the deer was found shortly afterwards collapsed in the ferns and had to put down by a gamekeeper due to its significant injuries; a broken front leg, an open wound to its behind and part of its tail was also detached with an open wound.”
Police said Hiribarne later caught up with Alfie. He then told officers at the park about the attack.
"All of a sudden, I and Alfie came across a lone small deer sitting hidden in the long grass in an open area about 150 metres away from the road and both the deer and Alfie were startled by each other,” Hiribarne said.
“The deer sprang up and started to run and Alfie got spooked and ran after the deer. I called Alfie back repeatedly and used my dog whistle too but Alfie was too distracted by the deer and continued to chase it and did not respond.
"I ran after them and by the time I caught up with them I saw the injured deer by the road side and some members of the public standing surrounding the deer keeping Alfie away from it who was hyper excited, barking and trying to lunge at it.”
Aflie’s owner said he is “genuinely shocked and sorry” and has since not allowed Alfie off his leash at any park.
"I have also taken a special dog trainer specialised in gun dogs to control more accurately any of his hunting instincts. He has made great progress,” he said.
Police Sergeant Pete Sturgess, from the Met's Royal Parks Command Unit, said the incident “highlights that even the most careful of dog owners may not see a deer until it is too late”.
“Your dog may never have chased the deer before, but once is too many, and this deer paid with her life,” Sgt Sturgess said.
Simon Richards, park manager for Richmond Park the deer is the fourth to die over the past 12 months after being chased by a dog.
“We’ve had 58 incidents of dogs chasing deer reported to us since March 2020, and it’s completely unacceptable,” Mr Richards said.
“It’s imperative that owners ensure their dogs are under control at all times.”
Hiribarne was fined $1060 over the attack.
Viewers called the dog owner “irresponsible”.
“Should be banned from owning a pet dog,” one man wrote.
One woman called for dogs to be kept on leads in parks.
“The park belongs to those beautiful animals,” she wrote.
Another woman called the dog “very dangerous”.
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