Landowner "dognapped" pets during weekend stroll, says walker

Landowner "dognapped" pets during weekend stroll, says walker

RIGHT OF WAY: Emma Heslop of Darlington pictured with her dogs Isla, Oscar and Drummer, who claims one of her pets was dognapped by a landowner as she walked across a field on a public footpath near Richmond. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT.

RIGHT OF WAY: Emma Heslop of Darlington pictured with her dogs Isla, Oscar and Drummer, who claims one of her pets was dognapped by a landowner as she walked across a field on a public footpath near Richmond. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT.

RIGHT OF WAY: Emma Heslop of Darlington pictured with her dogs Isla, Oscar and Drummer, who claims one of her pets was dognapped by a landowner as she walked across a field on a public footpath near Richmond. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT.

First published in News
Last updated

A NURSE has told how her pets were "dognapped" by an angry landowner during a weekend walk.

Emma Heslop was walking her three dogs - an English springer spaniel and two Hungarian wirehaired vizslas - on a public footpath in a field near Richmond, North Yorkshire, when she became embroiled in a dispute with the landowners.

Miss Heslop, 35, from Skerne Way, Darlington, said the two older dogs were off their leads but walking to heel, while the younger viszla was kept on a lead.

The dog owner said she was approached by a man who demanded that she put all animals on leads, which she refused to do.

A woman then drove into the field in a 4x4 vehicle. Miss Heslop said the woman tried to forcibly take the dog that was on a lead from her, while the man grabbed the spaniel and put it in the vehicle.

According to Miss Heslop, the man then called the police while the woman continued trying to take the lead.

When the animal in the vehicle became distressed, the dog owner said she let the woman take the lead and the dog from her so she could go to the spaniel's aid. The young dog was led away by the woman.

The dogs were only returned when a police community support officer arrived after about half an hour.

Miss Heslop said all three dogs were working gundogs and had she had control over them at all times, adding that she kept the animals off leads near horses for her own safety.

She said the dogs had not been worrying livestock and the landowners' reaction to "dognap" her pets had been aggressive and unnecessary.

She added: "We hadn't done anything wrong - it was just a bit weird.

"I just wanted to leave so didn't make a complaint to the police but wish I had."

The incident occurred close to the Hollies Riding School near the village of Hudswell.

The Northern Echo understands that Miss Heslop was involved in the altercation with riding school owners Michelle and Mark Firby, who declined to comment yesterday.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police confirmed that an officer had attended, but neither party made a complaint.

According to the Countryside Code, dog owners must keep their pet under "effective control".

This means that dogs must be on a lead or kept in sight at all times, the owner must be confident it will return promptly on command.

The code also advises that it is "good practice" to keep pets on a lead near livestock and horses.

Comments (5)

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10:20am Tue 22 Jul 14

Copley23 says...

Then my friend, the CODE is an ar$e.....this lady should name and shame. Personally I would have gone ballistic if some cocky landowner had even touched my dogs. To have a dog on a lead when near animals is okay until......then you darned well let them go.
Kudos for not being more vocal Emma!
Idiots.
Then my friend, the CODE is an ar$e.....this lady should name and shame. Personally I would have gone ballistic if some cocky landowner had even touched my dogs. To have a dog on a lead when near animals is okay until......then you darned well let them go. Kudos for not being more vocal Emma! Idiots. Copley23
  • Score: 2

11:40am Tue 22 Jul 14

Employed Tax Payer, Central Darlo says...

She should be thankful that the dogs off the lead weren't just shot without warning. The farmer would have been well within his rights to do so.
She should be thankful that the dogs off the lead weren't just shot without warning. The farmer would have been well within his rights to do so. Employed Tax Payer, Central Darlo
  • Score: -4

12:03pm Tue 22 Jul 14

hogworth says...

Sorry employed taxpayer, only if running wild and worrying livestock!
Sorry employed taxpayer, only if running wild and worrying livestock! hogworth
  • Score: 7

12:53pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Copley23 says...

No he wouldn't ETP. As hogworth says, only if they are actively worrying, which they weren't. Get your facts right pal, you're as bad as the farmer.
No he wouldn't ETP. As hogworth says, only if they are actively worrying, which they weren't. Get your facts right pal, you're as bad as the farmer. Copley23
  • Score: 3

5:29pm Sun 27 Jul 14

Jojojojo1 says...

Get a grip!!! Why try causing more trouble now if you didn't make a complaint to police why go to the papers!!! The man was looking after his animals he is obviously a hardworking taxpayer and you obviously think you can get money out of this!!!! What would of happened if your dogs had attacked the horses??????? Get a life and move on silly woman
Get a grip!!! Why try causing more trouble now if you didn't make a complaint to police why go to the papers!!! The man was looking after his animals he is obviously a hardworking taxpayer and you obviously think you can get money out of this!!!! What would of happened if your dogs had attacked the horses??????? Get a life and move on silly woman Jojojojo1
  • Score: 1

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