A pet dog has been shot dead yards from her home in Winchester, Hants.
Four-year-old Wilma the Whippet was killed just yards from her owner’s garden after she ventured into the grounds of the Marriott Hotel, where she was accidentally shot after being mistaken for a rabbit by the hotel’s pest controller.
Mr Kirby, whose £400,000 house borders the Marriott Meon Valley Hotel and Country Club near Winchester, Hampshire, heard a ‘muffled crack’ before his pet ‘whimpered in pain’ and died.
The 45-year-old builder said he let Wilma and his other dog Buffy out at night and they ran through bushes on to the neighbouring golf course. He was whistling to beckon them back in when he heard a shot and instantly feared the worst. ‘I shouted out “Wilma, Wilma” but only Buffy came back. All I could hear was about six yelps. ’Mr Kirby eventually found Wilma with a gunshot wound and covered in blood.
Police were called in following the incident, which happened at around 9.15pm on Tuesday. A spokesman said yesterday: ‘I can confirm that we are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a dog within the grounds of the Marriott Hotel at Sheffield. A hotel spokesman said, ‘We are deeply sorry for the distress this unprecedented incident has caused the dog’s owners and we will do all we can to assist the police investigations.’
Pest control has now been suspended at all of Marriott’s UK hotels while the investigation takes place.