The owners of stables in Lancashire have been left “devastated” after a “suspicious blaze” ripped through the building, killing dogs and other animals.
Lancashire Police, who described the incident as a “shocking crime”, have appealed for information about the fire in the Lancashire village of Higham, after the four dogs – including two puppies – and hens perished.
Six horses and two other dogs survived the inferno which happened on Sunday evening.
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.”