Warning: Graphic images below
A SAVAGE early morning dog attack has left three lambs with extensive injuries and a hobby farmer worrying about the days to come.
The attack came just one day after NSW Police rural crime officers issued a stern warning to dog owners that the offending animal could be seized or destroyed if caught.
Paul Cox lives on a hobby farm on the outskirts of Orange and his small flock of sheep have been victim to two dog attacks within the past fortnight.
"Last time one was killed, they absolutely killed it ... it [the dog] had eaten one leg and half the shoulder was chewed off," he said.
The most recent dog attack occurred on Friday morning with three lambs mauled.
"Each of them has bite injuries, two on their legs and the other one is on its face, you can see the puncture marks on its nose," Mr Cox said.
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"They [the dogs] absolutely tried to get them down.
"They [the lambs] are pretty traumatised, but hopefully they start eating again. I'm worried because they can die from being traumatised."
Mr Cox has lived in the Ammerdown Estate, north-west of Orange, for the past 25 years and this is the fourth dog attack during this time.
While he didn't hear Friday morning's vicious mauling, he knew something was wrong when three lambs were missing from his small flock at 8am.
"I found all three of them in separate locations. When you see them just laying down in the corner, up against the fence with blood all over them, it's pretty awful," he said.
"You could see the blood was still fresh."
MAP: The dog attack occurred just outside Orange
Mr Cox said his losses were "small scale" compared to struggling drought-affected farmers who then lose more sheep and lambs in dog attacks.
"I'm only a hobby farmer and only have a little mob of sheep, so you have to feel for the farmers who make a living out of this and then this happens," he said.
Earlier this week, NSW Police State Rural Crime Co-ordinator Detective Inspector Cameron Whiteside told Australian Community Media that dog owners were liable for attacks.
Dogs may also be lawfully destroyed in some instances by farmers if they are actively attacking livestock.NSW Police State Rural Crime Co-ordinator Detective Inspector Cameron Whiteside
"An owner of any dog which rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal, can be fined $1320 on the spot, along with other possible fines, and face having their dog seized," he said.
"Dogs may also be lawfully destroyed in some instances by farmers if they are actively attacking livestock."
Mr Cox has reported this attack to his local council.
Detective Inspector Whiteside said police will work in conjunction with local councils to investigate following a dog attack.
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