Previous to taking over the running of the farm from elderly in-laws, we had been living in a rented house about two miles away.
When we vacated the hopuse it was rented by a family with small children. About six months later I visited them with a request to keep their two dogs under control, as the dogs had mauled one of our weanling calves.
While I was talking to them I heard a child crying. The child was obviously sick. With three small children of my own, it wasn’t hard to come to that conclusion.
I asked the parents whether the child was alright and they replied “She is sick, but has just been attended to”.
I then left with their assurance that they would tie their dogs up at night.
Three months later they were in court in a charge of neglect resulting in the death of a child.
I felt awful. To this day I can still hear the weak, sickly cry of that child.
If only I had reported what I had heard that day and suspected, that child would probably have lived.
Post script – A neighbour shot both of their dogs which they had not kept under control.