As most pet owners know, bringing your animal to shops – even on a leash – is fraught with complications. However, this didn't deter one "urban farmer" from Antrim, Northern Ireland, who decided to take his sheep to the local Lidl on 15 July in Portrush.

There was nothing sheepish about the man, who casually walked into the store with his ovine pal. John Junk, a bookshop owner, recounted the event and shared photos on his Facebook account.

When asked to leave, the man said "It said 'no dogs' so I'll be dead on love!" Other witness accounts told the Irish Times he asked to see the store policy about pets and was finally escorted out when more staff members arrived.

Junk explained that although the man appeared intoxicated, the sheep did not look like it was being abused for the sake of a prank. Its owner reportedly told them he had "saved her from the abattoir" when the sheep was three-years-old and had kept her ever since.

Another witness agrees. William Allen was shopping at the time of the incident. He recalls that the sheep looked and behaved like a legitimate pet, as "it was walking on ahead of him, like it was a dog". According to Allen, the man known as "sheepguy" wasn't pulling on the leash, indicating the sheep "must be used to being on a lead".

John Junk shared pictures of the incident on his company's Facebook Page, Belfast Books Limited Facebook/Belfast Books Limited via Storyful

However, the incident took a turn for the worse when the man got outside, as he "grabbed a metal bar and tried to hit the security guard with it" Allen recounts.

"He put him on the ground and held him there, and the sheep just stood there watching. It was even letting a few baas out."

"Eventually he calmed down and the security guard let him up and he just walked off through the car park, with the sheep walking ahead of him on the lead. It's one of the most surreal things I've ever seen."

Local police said a man was "arrested on suspicion of a number of offences including common assault and disorderly behaviour, following an altercation at a supermarket in Portrush".

Both the identity of the man and the sheep remain unknown.

Here's a video of the sheep going for a quick shop in Portrush's Lidl.