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Hunt hounds ‘invade kennels and cattery, killing owner’s pet’

There were no riders controlling pack, claims cat owner

Jane Dalton
Thursday 01 October 2020 18:10 BST
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(DDP/AFP via Getty Images)

Hunt hounds are suspected of killing a cat as they allegedly rampaged through a kennels and pet-rescue centre.

The Braes of Derwent hunt was accused of allowing at least 10 of its hounds to run loose in the kennel grounds, frightening small dogs and the owner’s tabby cat, which has not been seen since.

Tracey Hobbs, owner of the Tendercare boarding kennels and cattery at Burnhope, Co Durham, said there was no sign of any riders to control the hounds when the alleged incident happened.

When she and staff saw the hounds racing towards them, Ms Hobbs said they had to quickly pick up the small dogs that were on leads in the grounds to take them indoors.

“It was horrible,” she said. “Suddenly we saw the hounds coming hurtling down the hill towards us. I heard my cat scream.  

“I don’t think Winter would have stood a chance against a pack of at least 10 hounds.

“I had customers here collecting their pets and volunteers, and we were all frightened, as were the small dogs.”

Ms Hobbs said the effects would have been worse had her hens been out of their coops, and it was just luck that they were not.

“The hounds ran down to the gate and started jumping over a stone wall onto a main road. They could have been killed," she said.

She later saw two hunt members on horseback, and when told of what had happened, they said the hounds “must have gone off the trail”.

Officers from Durham police were called and attended. The force said it was a civil, not criminal, matter.

The Independent has asked the Braes of Derwent to comment.

Two years ago a pack of hunting hounds chasing a fox and deer thundered through the Celia Hammond cat sanctuary in Sussex, causing more than 60 terrified animals to flee during their evening feed. 

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