A dog attack on livestock left a female sheep fatally wounded at a family-owned farm in the district.

Angela Maude, who grazes sheep at her parents’ farm off Park Lane, Keighley, said the sheep was so badly savaged that one of its hind legs was almost torn off.

She praised the actions of a man and his partner living in the nearby Parkwood Rise flats, who saw the aftermath of the incident and carried the badly injured sheep to her parents’ home, before it died.

Mrs Maude, who lives in Silsden but uses the land at Parkwood Top Farm for grazing her animals, said: “Some people may think ‘it’s only a sheep’, but it is important to us, and it’s worth remembering this could just as easily have been someone’s child.

“Attacks on sheep can get brushed under the carpet a bit, with some farmers maybe not always reporting them.

"But people need to be aware.”

Mrs Maude said she and her husband Timothy had been keeping 17 sheep on her parents’ fields behind the Parkwood Rise flats, adding the dog attack was believed to have happened some time between 9am and 11.30am last Wednesday.

“We’ve had no problems up there until now,” she said.

“A young man in the Parkwood Rise flats had seen one of our sheep lying down, surrounded by the other sheep.

“When he and his partner went down to see what was wrong, they found it had been mauled.

“The flesh on one of her back legs was ripped off down to the bone, and there were also smaller injuries around her neck.

“The other sheep in the field would have fled, and it’s likely they were traumatised by what happened.

“This couple carried the wounded sheep all the way up to my mum’s place. The sheep was still alive at the time, but we had to take her to Aireworth Vets, in Keighley, to be put down.

“The attack itself was not witnessed, but my husband did asked people in Park Lane if they’d seen anything. He was told two young men were spotted walking two dogs at a similar time to the incident.

“We’re guessing that someone must have cut across the field with their dogs, which we’re assuming would have been off the lead.

“We’re appealing to anyone who might have seen something to get in touch with the police.”

She said she had posted details of the attack on social media, and had been encouraged by the dozens of responses she received from local people.

Mrs Maude said her father, who is now 79, had been at Parkwood Top Farm since he was a teenager.

She noted the property is close to heavily built up parts of Keighley, and depends on local dog owners to act responsibly when walking their pets.

She there was a financial cost as well as an emotional impact, as the family had paid for the mauled sheep to be humanely put down and its carcase disposed of.

She said: “I want to thank Aireworth Vets for responding so quickly, and also thank the young man and his partner from the flats who brought the sheep all the way up to the farm after seeing she was hurt.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed the attack was under investigation. Any witnesses can contact police by calling 101 and quoting crime reference 131900 67616.