An allotment owner at Summerbell Allotments, on Maplewood Avenue in Marley Pots, has been left heartbroken after vandals broke into a number of sites and killed seven chickens.
It is reported that the incident took place on Tuesday, April 19, and was reported to police around 10.30am that morning.
Along with the deaths of the birds, damage was caused to sheds and greenhouses – with the incident taking place just days after 60 racing pigeons were killed at an allotment site in Southwick.
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The allotment owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, revealed her heartbreak at discovering the birds and expressed her worry about what those responsible could be capable of next.
She said: “We are broken-hearted about what has happened, the chickens might have been at the allotment but they were still our pets.
"We care for them the same way as you would any other pet, we fed them, made sure they have water and kept them clean.
"The damage to the sheds is repairable, at the end of the day it is just bits of wood, but we cannot repair the chickens, it is just devastating what has happened.
"If a fox had got at the chickens then I would understand as that is just nature but for a person to do something like this is just sickening.
“It really makes you worry about what they could be capable of in the future.”
A Force spokesperson said: "At around 10.30am on April 19, police received reports of a break in at the allotments on Maplewood Avenue in Sunderland.
"It was reported that an offender had broken in and damaged a number of sheds and greenhouses. A chicken coop was also damaged and seven chickens killed during the incident.
"Enquiries remain ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact police via the Tell us Something page, quoting crime reference 045320C/22 ."