A FARMER is counting the cost after one of his sheep was mauled to death by a dog.

It happened last week when he made the horror discovery at a farm in the Doon Valley and has resulted in swift police action.

As well as reporting a 45-year-old man to the fiscal in relation to an allegation, of allowing a dog to be out of control, the local force have issued a stern warning to pet owners.

Last week’s carnage happened at Smithton Farm, Patna, just weeks before the lambing season starts when sheep are more vulnerable.

While the financial loss in the recent incident was £250, there are long-t erm consequences.

When a pregnant sheep is targeted, two lives are lost and a lineage - which may have taken years to nurture - is lost because ofa bloodthirsty dog.

When even a mild-mannered pet gets the taste of blood, it will return time and time again.

East Ayrshire Police are distributing weather resistant warning signs to farmers which alert surrounding communities to the issue.

Community safety officer, Craig Marshall, said: “Experience has shown that more often than not, livestock attacks and trauma occur when dog owners living, working or enjoying the rural environment, are not present."