08:54AM, Thursday 12 April 2012
Vicious thugs who killed a couple's pet doves and tore one of the bodies apart returned two days later to shoot their beloved pet owl.
Stephen Pollard and his partner Sue Lee-Paterson live at the Friary, Old Windsor, close to the riverbank. Their pet owl Dobie lives in their garden.
On Wednesday Stephen saw four youths with catapaults deliberately shoot two of the doves in their dovecot. One of the youths climbed into the garden and took a dead bird, tearing its body apart.
Stephen gave chase and warned the youths - who looked 15 or 16 - that he knew their faces.
Two days later - soon after 4pm on Good Friday - the thugs returned and shot at Dobie the owl in his enclave, peppering his enclave with pellets and hurting his eye.
Sue, who was indoors, said: "I saw a woman on the riverbank waving her arms and realised she was shouting 'Dobie's hurt'.
She raced from the house.
"I could see two youths who seemed to be standing guard. Dobie was cowering in his cage. Then they walked off, shooting a poor moorhen on its nest.
"The woman who had shouted grabbed her small dog. She was terrified they were going to shoot it next."
Dobie could easily have been blinded or killed but miraculously escaped with a graze.
Stephen is a builder and Sue runs a reptile centre in Oakley Green. They live with Sue's son Josh, 11. Dobie is a 2ft tall European eagle owl who was actually born in the house.
The river walk is a popular one and everyone knows Dobie.
Veteran Royal Borough councillor Malcolm Beer who represents the village said: "Dobie is a real personality. This is dreadful."
Inspector Pete Dalton from Windsor Police Station said police had searched the area but have been unable to find the teenage boys.
He said: "We treat incidents like this extremely seriously and condemn any form of cruelty to animals.
"The neighbourhood team is aware of the issue and we would urge members of the public who see anyone in possession of a catapult to call police and provide full decriptions of the suspect or suspects."
Anyone with information is urged to phone police on 101.