On Wednesday, May 18, 1881, before Sheriff Substitute Tyndall Bruce Johnstone at the Small Debt Court in Alloa, the case of Andrew Scott, a gamekeeper from Tullibody Lodge, and David Drysdale, the farmer at Lornshill, was heard regarding the shooting of a collie dog.

On Tuesday, March 29, ploughman James Hunter was working the field at Lornshill Farm next to Lord Abercromby’s estate. He had a Border Collie with him that belonged to Drysdale. The dog had followed him, and Drysdale had told him to send it home. In the end, Drysdale took it home himself. The dog used to enjoy going into the local wood to hunt and that was the reason he did not want it going into the fields.

After a while Hunter saw the dog again, lying on his coat at the field at around 5 o’clock. That was the last time he saw the collie alive, as, when he was around 230 yards away from it, two shots rang out. At that point, the dog was just 2½ yards on to Abercromby’s land.

Initially he thought warning shots were being fired at the dog, but he heard a yelp, and when he and two other ploughmen Peter Murphy and Anthony Meslon ran over to it, the dog was lying dead, having been shot. Meslon had seen the man who shot the collie but did not know him.

David Drysdale told the court he required the dog for the farm. That morning, he had seen the collie hunting in the fields, so called to it and took it home. He told the men not to let the dog back into the field. He had business to attend to in Alloa and when he came back, the men told him that his dog had been shot and killed. The ploughmen all pointed the finger at the gamekeeper for the Abercromby estate.

Drysdale knew the gamekeeper to be Andrew Scott. He went round to see Scott, but he was not at home. His wife informed him he had gone off with his gun to the North Wood, which was adjacent to the field, at around 5 o’clock. When he did speak to Scott, the gamekeeper denied shooting the dog. This was the third dog Drysdale had lost in this way and he wanted to put a stop to it. He also wanted compensation.

However, Johnstone decided the evidence was inconclusive against Scott.

Today if a dog is worrying sheep or other animals on a farm, they can still be legally shot.