A local woman has described how a pack of hunting dogs left her shocked and scared after one of the animals attacked her in an incident at the weekend.
Evelyn McLay, from Stranocum, claims that the Beagle dogs, numbering between 10 and 12, were causing havoc on the roads at and near her home on the Kirk Road attempting to get into people's gardens and making what she described as "a lot of noise."
Mrs. McLay was bitten on the arm by one of the dogs while it was attempting to jump a fence on her property and attended the Accident and Emergency unit at Coleraine Hospital on the advice of an Envrionmental Health officer who was called to the scene after the incident was reported to the PSNI.
Mr. Brian Edgar, from Ballymoney Borough Council, confirmed that his department was investigating the incident in response to a call from the police.
Mrs. McLay had earlier taken her seven-month-old Jack Russell for a walk along the nearby Leitrim Road when she spotted two men in a field one of whom had a gun. She heard dogs barking and assumed they were with the men.
"I thought it strange to see the animals in that place and I felt uncomfortable with my pet so I turned to go back home. I then met a man with an Alsatian and I told him what I had seen. He didn't seem too worried and walked on.
" When I got back home I then noticed the dogs coming down the field behind my house. They found a hole in the hedge and came out on to the Kirk Road. They were running up and down the road and tried to get into a neighbour's home. He managed to close the gates because he was afraid for the safety of his own dogs and it was at this point they got into my property.
"Everything happened very quickly. I was trying to shoo them away when one of the Beagles got caught in a fence and bit me on the arm.
Maybe it panicked at the time," Mrs. McLay said.
Mrs. McLay reported the matter to the police who, in turn, referred her to the out of hours Environmental Health department of the Council.
She was then advised to go to the A and E unit to have her bite attended to.
Mrs. McLay said it was a scary incident and that if her dog had been out in the garden at the time the Beagles came in, it would have been attacked.
"What worried me a lot was what the dogs might have been killing or eating before the attack on me," Mrs. McLay added.