Two lambs have been savaged in the Chorley countryside.
Now, police and council bosses are sending out a stark message, warning dog owners to keep their pets on leads around livestock.
It comes after two lambs were brutally attacked by a spaniel dog in Rivington on Tuesday. One of the lambs had to be killed due to the severity of its injuries and the other is still badly hurt.
The dog, which was caught by a farmer, went missing from its owner as it was being walked off its lead.
Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, it is a criminal offence to have a dog off its lead and allowing it to worry livestock in agricultural land.
A spokesperson for Chorley Police said: “We urge all dog owners to keep their pets on leads around livestock.
“It is a criminal offence to do this and owners must be aware of the laws.
“For the police it is about promoting the responsible ownership of dogs.
“It’s a necessity to take note of the signs, owners may think their dogs are trained but when instinct kicks in, there is no stopping them.”
Jamie Carson, Chorley Council’s director of public protection, streetscene and community, said: “One of our neighbourhood officers was approached by a farmer after two of his lambs were allegedly attacked by a dog.
“The farmer had managed to catch the dog and contacted the owner who explained that the dog went missing earlier in the day.
“The owner has apologised to the farmer and agreed to cover the costs of the lambs.
“As this matter has been resolved privately, no further action will be taken. However, it is an offence to allow a dog to worry sheep, which includes attacking or chasing sheep. I would therefore like to remind dog owners to keep their dog under control and on a lead around livestock, especially at the moment when it is lambing season.”