Young boys have been left heartbroken after callous yobs with dogs slaughtered their pet chickens on a South Yorkshire allotment.
Twice in the space of four days the gardening plots in Oldfield Lane, Stainforth, were targeted, causing huge distress to the lads who were rearing their own poultry.
Ten-year-old Luke Saunders and Liam Moore and Ryan McGregor, both aged 14, have spent most of this year building a coop and rearing the hens as well as growing vegetables.
Most of the boys’ hens were shot dead, with just one survivor, which had a broken leg.
“They just smashed it up. I felt really angry but I’m not going to give up on the allotment just because of them,” said Luke.
Luke’s dad Lee Saunders, 33, says they won’t be beaten by the horrific setback.
“It’s such a shame because the lads really enjoy coming to the allotment and then this happens,” he said.
Kevin Shepherd’s plot was also targeted, with all his racing pigeons either shot or released. Allotment-keepers spotted dogs’ paw prints in the mud of the devastated site.
Avril Rouse, joint secretary of the allotments committee, said: “Before, when we used to get people breaking in, it was just kids causing mischief but now it is acts of evil and it is gut-wrenching.
“All we want to do is to work on our gardens. We don’t want to come and ﬁnd that our vegetables have been uprooted and our animals killed.”
The site is now closed at 8.30pm, instead of 11pm, when the gates are locked overnight.
Police are investigating and anyone with information is urged to contact them on 0114 220 2020.