An Easter Ross man has described woods near his home as “a killing field” after his dog was trapped in one of a number of snares hidden in the undergrowth.
Keira, a dachshund/Jack Russell cross, was caught in the wire noose close to a public track and around 600ft from her owner’s home close to Evanton.
The pet had been missing for some time after running into the woods on the Novar Estate on Sunday when the people searching for her were alerted by a yelp.
As they freed Keira, Dan Lynch and his sister Val Barron say they saw another four snares of different sizes, some of which were baited with the carcass of sheep.
Mr Lynch, of Tighnacraig, said last night: “I can only describe the area as a killing field. There were snares big enough to trap deer.
“It is extremely dangerous and there are no warning signs. Other animals could be caught in the snares and possibly even a child.”
He added: “It is an area where many hikers, tourists and families with their pets walk, both at weekends and during the week.
Keira was said to be “limp like a rag doll” when she was freed, but she has since recovered.
Mrs Barron who found Kiera said: “It was an evil, terrible area. There were bones and bits of sheepskin lying around.”
The family say they do not blame the estate, but called for an investigation into the use of the snares. No one from Novar Estate, which offers shooting and fishing on its 20,000 acres of land, wanted to comment yesterday.
A police spokeswoman confirmed the force was investigating a report of a dog being trapped in a snare on a private estate.
The incident came two months after one of Mr Lynch’s other dogs disappeared in a similar area.
He added: “We came to live here because of the way of life and because we own dogs and cats. I fear that way of living has gone and I would not think of letting any of the dogs off the lead again.”