A pack of dogs in northern Arkansas has been pinpointed as the cause of multiple cattle deaths in the past few weeks.
Newton County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Glenn Wheeler told the Harrison Daily Times cattle producers have been finding calves with missing ears, lips and noses after dying. Producers at first thought it was scavengers cleaning up carcasses of animals that had died from a possible disease.
Deaths continued sporadically until a pack of dogs was seen in a pasture chasing recently weaned calves, catching the calves by the nose and then killing them. Upon seeing this the owners fired a gun at the dog pack and the dogs ran.
In all the dogs killed nine calves ranging from 300 to 600 lbs.
Police were called and started investigating the case. The authorities searched for a possible owner as the dogs looked in too good of health to be strays.
“The attacks stopped for nearly three weeks,” Wheeler says, “but then the dogs started up again, killing several more calves in Newton County and at least two pigs just over into Boone County. On other farms just over the county line, the dogs have apparently chased cattle through fences as well.”
Another farm has lost 31 calves to the dog pack. Sheriff Keith Slape says this likely cost that family $30,000 in losses.
The weekend of Jan. 6, the dogs were seen again chasing calves. This time a dog was shot by a farmer. Authorities were able to find the owner of the dog that was shot.
“We believe we have found the owner of the main dog involved, the one that is always in the pack.” Wheeler says. “Hopefully we can get this stopped before more livestock are killed or injured.”
The local police ask livestock producers to keep an eye on their animals and report any deaths they believe to be dog related.
“When families depend on livestock for their income, they have to be protective of their animals,” Slape says.
Livestock producers can protect their animals should they come under attack, but it needs to be done safely, the police say.