A DOG owner has been left “devastated” after her two pets were shot dead by a Leigh Sinton farmer when they fled boarding kennels while she was on holiday.

June Roden put one-year-old Millie and three-year-old Benson into Brookend Boarding Kennels, but the dogs escaped whilst playing in a field.

They were shot dead by a farmer who hit them in the chest to protect his livestock.

She had been on holiday with her husband Chris in Spain when she received a heartbreaking call from kennel staff informing her of the dogs’ death.

“We’re just devastated and we couldn’t believe it,” she said.

“They were just gorgeous dogs and a big part of our home life.”

She added the pets had not been discovered missing by kennel staff until 20 minutes after they had escaped, prompting an investigation by Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS), which is responsible for dog wardens and licensing.

Les Childs, owner of the kennels, said he was distraught by what had happened.

“My wife and I were deeply upset,” he said. “We’ve seven acres of ground here. We are still not sure how they managed to get out. It’s just been really tragic.

“60,000 dogs have used that field and over the eight years we’ve been here there’s been no incidents. I just can’t imagine how she must be feeling.

“They did sign to say that their dogs could go off lead and go into fields.

“They were aware that one of the dogs continually jumped the fence and they still brought their dogs to us after that. We do everything we can to make sure the dogs are safe.”

Mrs Roden, who lives in Kidderminster, said in a previous stay at Brookend Kennels it was discovered that Millie could jump the gate in the exercise field but she came straight back when called.

She said: “I was concerned but knew, as long as they accompanied the dogs, they would not run off.”

Andy Ferguson, WRS central operations manager said: “Worcestershire Regulatory Services is investigating the events that led up to the shooting.

“Once the facts have been established we will decide what action, if any, should be taken.”

A spokesman for West Mercia Police said there would not be an investigation into the farmer’s actions.