Sunday, January 23, 2011



LATE UPDATE: A photograph of two dogs who match the description of the pair who killed the goat near Elena Lane is posted on the Deerhorn Valley website.

Near Elena Lane off Deerhorn Valley Rd. two large dogs attacked and killed a neighbor's goat this week. This was in broad daylight and in front of two witnesses out for a late-morning walk. They described them this way:
Dog One: black with longish hair;
Dog Two: short-haired, "blond" -face like a great dane/pitbull mix.

Later the same day a young sheep was killed by two dogs matching this description near Honey Springs Rd. and Barber Mountain Road (the dirt road that runs east from Honey Springs across Mt. Elena west to Barber Mtn).
Most vets and experts will agree that once dogs pack and kill for sport, they will continue to do so. If they have attacked a herd in the past, they will typically come back to finish off the rest.
When we first moved to Deerhorn years ago, the Peterson's had lost some livestock to a dog attack.  Danny Lawson from up on Mother Grundy found that one of his dogs, a sweet airdale/poodle mix, was a part of the kill.  Danny loved that dog, but immediately took him down to be euthanized.  He told us, with tears in his eyes, that once a dog begins to kill for sport, he'll not stop; when a pack forms, kill instincts take over.  Pets will usually feed very little on their prey, unlike feral dogs or coyotes.
Dog tracks are typically rounder and less symmetrical.  Coyote tracks are identified by an "X" shape formed by the spaces between the pads.
COYOTE TRACKS: Usually narrower, and make a distinctive X (follow the space between toe 1-2 and toe 3-4 down around the bottom pad)

DOG TRACKS: Usually rounder, no X-pattern

KEEP YOUR DOGS CONFINED.... Most livestock owners will (legally) shoot attacking dogs on sight.  Litigation will result in costly fines ($5,000 and up), court costs, and settlement to the owners for lost and damaged animals.  If you have livestock, especially goats and sheep, check to see that their pens are secure.  Dogs will both jump and tunnel under fences to get at prey.

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