Mystery as lambs taken from their mothers and repeatedly dumped in Sunderland gardens by suspected hoaxer

Days-old lambs have been taken from their mothers and found dumped in gardens in Sunderland.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 1:05 pm

An investigation has now been launched by the RSCPA after three incidents of lambs being dumped in gardens have reportedly happened in the Sunderland area.

On one occasion the lamb, which had been torn away from its mother, was so distressed it was banging its head against the fence as it tried to escape the garden.

The most recent incident was reported when a resident woke to find a frightened lamb in their enclosed garden in Scruton Avenue, in Plains Farm, at 6am on Sunday, May 16.

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One of the lambs which was founded abandoned in a Sunderland garden
One of the lambs which was founded abandoned in a Sunderland garden

They reported the matter to the RSPCA and cared for the ‘cold and shivering’ lamb until animal rescue officer Heather Wade arrived at the scene.

The poor lamb still had a dried umbilical cord attached and was far too young to be ripped away from his mum.

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There are no farms in the local area and the garden is enclosed so the lamb could not have wandered in.

Another lamb which was taken from it's mother and dumped in a Sunderland garden

Investigating officers discovered a similar case had been reported to Northumbria Police when a resident in Forbes Terrace, Ryhope, made a similar discovery three days before on May 13.

Police say the lamb was distressed and was head-butting the fence.

Heather said social media reports suggest this has also happened on a previous occasion nearby and is concerned that someone is doing this as a hoax but are putting the lambs' lives in danger.

She said: “These little ones were only days old so were very vulnerable and would have been frightened to be away from their mum.

“I know the lambs could not have wandered into the gardens as they were enclosed so it suggests someone has deliberately done this and I have no idea why - maybe they think it is some kind of joke.

“We are not sure where they have come from as there are no nearby farms so we could not reunite them with their mum and they are now being hand-reared by a specialist.”

Heather is now appealing for information to find the person responsible and is urging anyone with information to call the RSPCA’s appeals line on 0300 123 8018.

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