South Yorkshire Police forced to deny rumours officers shot two dogs dead on country road after deer euthanised

South Yorkshire Police has been forced to issue a denial to bizarre social media rumours that officers shot two dogs dead on a country lane.

The force clarified that officers were sent to Grange Lane at Cundy Cross in Barnsley early on Tuesday morning to reports that a deer had collided with a car and was badly injured.

An out-of-hours vet was not available, so officers used emergency powers under the Animal Welfare Act to humanely dispatch the animal.

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South Yorkshire Police added that they wished to reassure the public that the decision was made to ‘prevent further suffering’ to the deer.

Grange Lane in Cundy Cross, BarnsleyGrange Lane in Cundy Cross, Barnsley
Grange Lane in Cundy Cross, Barnsley

The rumour was originally shared by the Facebook group Barnsley Community Alliance, which has 17,000 followers, claiming that a source had seen ‘two dead dogs’ with police at the side of Grange Lane.

The post was then shared by another Facebook group set up in memory of two dogs called Marshall and Millions which were shot dead by the Metropolitan Police in east London earlier this summer while being walked by their owner following allegations they had been behaving aggressively. This page has 82,000 followers and a user called Alison Cosgrave added the message ‘looks like South Yorkshire Police are at it now.’

The full South Yorkshire Police statement read: “We are aware of information currently circulating on social media claiming our officers had shot two dogs on Grange Lane in Barnsley this morning. We wish to clarify that this is not the case.

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"At about 5.45am today (Tuesday 11 July) we received a call to inform us a deer had been in a collision with a member of the public’s vehicle on Grange Lane in Cundy Cross.

Officers attended and found the deer to have received severe injuries which were causing the animal to suffer.

"An out-of-hours vet was not available to attend the scene so powers under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 were exercised and the deer sadly had to be humanely dispatched.

"We appreciate these incidents cause concern for the local community and wish to reassure people the decision was made to prevent further suffering for the animal and also to prevent further danger for both the deer and other road users.”