Vicious Dogs Roam Freely
Wapato, WA - Nationwide, livestock owners and people in semi-rural areas are being victimized by loose, dangerous dogs. Another attack has occurred in an area called Lower Valley. Last January, Lew Yallup, 55, was viciously attacked by a pack of dogs in the same area while he was picking up aluminum cans.
Livestock owner, Marshia Crook, is tired of the problem. She's got a rifle ready in case the dogs return. In the latest incident, Crook said, her husband spotted the downed animals -- a sheep and a lamb -- and a rottweiler fleeing their pasture. Later that day, a neighbor said he shot a pit bull mix that attacked his chickens the same morning along with the rottweiler and at least one other dog.
Crook said she had raised the sheep and its lamb, and that they were her foster daughter's pets. "She was just devastated," Crook said. "Now, she's afraid to wait at the bus stop, and I don't blame her." The sheep had its throat ripped out. The lamb's neck and head had been badly torn up, and Crook said she had to shoot it to end its suffering.
Her missing goat was never found. Crook said she thinks the dogs dragged it away. She said she believes a neighbor a few blocks away owns the dogs. In November, she shot and killed three of the neighbor's dogs after they came into her yard and killed three chickens, two ducks and four turkeys. More than a year ago, the same dogs killed one of her goats.
The offending dogs live on tribal land; authorities cannot take action against the dog owner.
Cook has complained to the Yakima County Sheriff's Office, but was told to buy a bigger gun. Crook said county authorities told her they had no authority over the dog owner because he is a tribal member living on tribal land. However, she is allowed to shoot the dogs if they come onto her private property. Cook promises to do just that.
Yakama tribal police told Cook that the offense involving livestock was only a civil infraction, and that they could only order the owner to destroy the dog if a person was attacked. They said she could take the matter to tribal court, but that would cost her money for an attorney and no guarantee that the dogs would be destroyed.
Now that all of her animals are dead, she fears the dogs may go after a small child.
"It's aggravating because it leaves livestock owners like us to have to wait until they come in our yards," she said. She fears the dogs may go after small children in the area now that all her animals are dead. "It's a horrible thought," she said. "You have to wait till a kid gets mangled or something before they can do something about a vicious dog."
04/06/08: "Potentially Dangerous Dogs" Roam Freely in Pierce County