A local greyhound trainer has spoken of his horror after finding his kennels on fire and his dogs trapped inside at the weekend.
Francis Hill who kennels seven greyhounds at his Burnfoot premises said the blaze was deliberate and that someone must know who is responsible.
Mr Hill wason his way to the kennels on Sunday night around 7pm when he spotted the flames. He quickly evacuated the dogs and placed them out of harms way before fighting the flames himself. The fire brigade arived quickly but the premises were extensively damaged.
And speaking to the Hawick News this week, Mr Hill said: “I can hardly believe that someone would set fire to the kennels knowing that my dogs were inside. I am appealing for anyone who saw anything or knows anything to get in touch.”
A Police Scotland media release stated: “Police are appealing for witnesses following a suspicious fire in Hamilton Road when a shed attached to kennels housing racing greyhounds was set on fire. Officers are now urging anyone who can assist with their enquiries to come forward.
Chief Inspector John Scott said: “This was a deliberate attempt to cause significant damage and which could have resulted in serious injury to the animals.
“We are keen to hear from anyone with information that can help us trace those responsible.”
And Mr Hill added: “I have my suspiscions that the kids who have been causing the problems at Burnfoot over the past few weeks are responsible. Several youngsters were seen running over the PSA pitch at the time of the fire. If that is the case their parents must have smelled smoke or oil on them when they returned home that night. It’s worrying and I would appeal to others who have dogs kennelled be vigilante.”
Anyone with information can contact Police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”