Livestock Owners Getting Hit Right and Left by Loose Dogs
Mnt. Shasta, CA - What happened to Dr. Grace Robert, bares the same markings as too many livestock owners. On March 20, Roberts witnessed a horrible scene: Two pit bulls broke into her Angel Valley area animal enclosure, killed seven of her goats, and severely injured four more as she helplessly watched.
Roberts said that it was absolutely horrifying. "The dogs were ripping my animals apart. There were dead and dying goats on the ground, blood everywhere, legs broken. It was just terrible hearing the animals screaming as these dogs were feasting on them." The goats to her were not livestock -- they were family pets.
The two pit bulls were recently destroyed by the Siskiyou County Animal Control. The dogs could have been released to their owners, according to Chief Animal Control Officer Ron Fisher, had the owners attended a release hearing and paid release fees. "The owners of these pit bulls did not attempt to get them back," Fisher said. "As a result, they were destroyed."
The Sheriff's report lists Darren and Kelly Day as owners of the dogs. According to Roberts, in the days following the incident the owners of the dogs apologized to her family and helped her son dig graves for the dead animals. Roberts thought it was "decent" of them.
Roberts also estimates her financial loss to exceed $10,000 she has invested in the animals. The article does not state if Roberts has a means to get this investment back. Quite likely, the "grave digging" help she got from the dog owners will be it. Neighbor Cathy Moore and others are frustrated.
"There is a definite problem in Angel Valley with dogs running loose. Nothing is ever done," said Moore.
Officer Fisher tried to explain how a dog gets labeled as "potentially dangerous" or "vicious" and what he can do as an enforcement officer to penalize dog owners. This is where the system breaks down. The system is complex, highly administrative, and favors the attacking dogs and the dog owners instead of the victim.
Fisher explained that in order for penalties to be enforced, a dog must be involved in at least two incidents where the dog either threatens or bites a person or livestock; or be involved in one severe attack. "After one incident, the dog is labeled as "potentially dangerous" and can be released to its owner following a release hearing," said Fisher. After a second attack the dog is labeled as "vicious" and can either be released to the owner or a board of officials can decide to terminate the animal, according to Fisher.
In other news:
Roaming Dogs Attack on Sheep Reflect Growing Problem
Boise, ID - Jeff Rosenthal of the Idaho Humane Society says there's a growing problem with roaming dogs attacking livestock in semi-rural areas. Recently, three lambs were killed by loose dogs and a fourth was badly wounded. Officials don't know who owns the dogs, but hope someone will come forward to claim the animals.
The lambs belonged to Star resident Miles Miller, who said he found the dogs standing over the lambs after his own great Pyrenees dog woke him up in the early morning hours. Animal Control officers sent to the scene captured an Australian Shepherd and a German Shepherd.
Rosenthal says people who move to semi-rural regions often think they can let their dogs run loose, but that can lead to problems.
The question is, what are authorities going to do about it?