CCTV catches dog catapult attacker in Goring-on-Thames

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Media captionThe attacker was seen escaping in a black van

An intruder has been caught on CCTV firing a rock into the face of a dog with a catapult in Oxfordshire.

The man is seen fleeing when spotted by Chris Noys, estate manager at Elvendon Priory near Goring-on-Thames. He later sped off in a van with four other men.

Mr Noys said he knew something was wrong when his dogs started "going absolutely mental". He believes the attacker intended to steal the animal.

Thames Valley Police said it was investigating the attack on Tuesday.

Mr Noys, 41, has four working cocker spaniels and one Labrador.

"I took the golden cocker to the vet, she seemed too quiet, but she was checked over and is ok," he said. "She's a tough cookie."

The footage of the attack was recorded at 12:32 BST and shows the man coming up to the kennel doors, checking the locks then picking up a rock and firing it at the golden cocker spaniel.

'Thrown into pits'

Mr Noys said: "I was working probably about 100 yards away when I heard my dogs going absolutely mental.

"I ran across, saw this bloke and shouted, 'what are you doing?' and he ran off.

"I ran after and could hear him shouting to the other men in the van, 'open the door, open the door'."

Mr Noys said the intruder sped off in the black Peugeot Partner, which was carrying ladders on the roof and had four other men inside.

"I've been told they will most probably be back again to try to take them," he said.

"I know of several people locally who have had their dogs taken. Some are found again, or returned for a payment, but most are not seen again.

"They want to use them for fighting, as baits, throwing them into pits with another dog, or they use them for illegal hunting."

A spokeswoman for Thames Valley Police said officers were investigating the incident and urged anyone who recognised the man to contact them.

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