In addition to the injuries caused by the Red Setter biting the deer, the dog giving chase meant the hind ran into the road and was sadly hit by a car. There is no evidence to suggest the car was speeding.
The incident took place in October 2020 and the owner of the Irish Red Setter, a 44-year-old from Kingston, appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Friday 15 January 2021 and was fined £602.
The owner told police he only let his dog run free in areas of Richmond Park he assessed as being clear of deer, but during his walk, he and his dog stumbled across a lone deer sitting in long grass.
Speaking of the incident, the man said: “I was genuinely shocked and sorry for what had happened to the deer. Since the incident, I have refrained completely from letting the dog off the leash in any park.”
Simon Richards, Park Manager for Richmond Park said: “Sadly, this was the fourth deer that died over the last year as a result of dog chases in Bushy and Richmond Parks. We’ve had 58 incidents of dogs chasing deer reported to us since March 2020, and it’s completely unacceptable. It’s imperative that owners ensure their dogs are under control at all times.
“It’s illegal for a dog to chase deer in Richmond and Bushy Parks, and owners may face prosecution if caught."
Pete Sturgess, a Sergeant at the Royal Parks Operational Command Unit of the Metropolitan Police said: “This incident highlights that even the most careful of dog owners may not see a deer until it is too late. Your dog may never have chased the deer before, but once is too many, and this deer paid with her life.
"If you do not know how your dog will react around the deer, or you know they will chase them, then please respect the wildlife by keeping them under control on a lead, or choose an outside space other than Richmond or Bushy Parks to walk off lead.”
The incident comes only two weeks after a 69-year-old man, also from Kingston, pleaded guilty after his dog chased and fatally injured a deer in Richmond Park.