Dogs and hens killed in 'shocking' stable blocks blaze
Four dogs and other small animals were killed when a suspicious blaze ripped through stable blocks in a rural village.
Lancashire Constabulary are appealing for information about the incident in Higham, Lancashire, after the dogs - including two puppies - and hens perished in the blaze.
Police have described it as "a shocking crime" after firefighters were called to the stable blocks off Guide Lane on Sunday at around 10pm to tackle the inferno.
Six horses and two other dogs survived.
Land and stable owner Jon Jackson, 65, who lives with his wife Mary, 58, two miles away from the incident in Sabden, said they have been left "devastated".
Mr Jackson, a nursing assistant, said: "I feel bitter about it. Whoever did it must have known there were animals in there. There could have been the horses too, luckily they were out.
"It looks like a bomb has gone off, there is stuff all over. Everything is burnt to charcoal. We don't know whether some cats are dead or are hiding. The dogs seem to know what has gone on, and they are missing the others. It's upsetting."
He added that his goats had also suffered burns to their bodies.
Zena, a Caucasian Shepherd who was seven months old, died in the blaze along with Poppy, a six-month-old German Shepherd, five-year-old Chihuahua Bow and three-year-old Lola.
DS Zoe Russo, from Burnley CID, said: "This was a shocking crime which saw a number of animals suffer needlessly to their deaths and thousands of pounds worth of damage. The owner is devastated.
"I am asking anyone who knows anything about this fire to get in contact with us at their earliest opportunity."
Anyone with information can call Burnley CID on 01282 472118. Alternatively they can ring 101 quoting incident reference 1705 of August 23rd.