Dog owners are being reminded to keep their pets on leads when walking close to livestock to help keep all animals safe.
The message from Staffordshire Police comes after incidents in the county where animals such as sheep have been seriously injured – and even killed – after loose dogs have attacked them.
It is an offence for a dog to not be under control around livestock and the penalty can be up to £1,000.
In court owners could also be ordered to pay thousands in costs to reflect the financial loss suffered by the farmer.
Nationally, it is estimated that around 15,000 sheep are killed by dogs every year.
Chief Inspector Mark Thorley, commander of Moorlands Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “As lambing season gets well under way across Staffordshire’s farms, we are reminding people to keep dogs under control or on a lead when walking in the countryside.
“It is important for dog owners to be aware that livestock worrying or an attack can have a devastating impact on the animals and significantly affect the owner’s livelihood.
“The friendliest of dogs, even if well trained, can still cause harm to pregnant ewes.
“Please also be aware that under certain circumstances, land owners can shoot your dog if it is attacking or causing distress to their animals.
“When there are instances of livestock being attacked by a dog reported to police, we will take necessary and appropriate action.
“We live in an area that has picturesque countryside and tremendous walks but we are keen for people to enjoy them in a safe and responsible way.”