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2017-02-09

Marauding dogs still roam free

By Gail Joiner BCC Publisher

In the Jan. 12 edition the Courier reported on three separate dog attacks on livestock in the Madrona Ridge area off Whartons Dock Road.
The third, and most extensive attack happened on Saturday, Jan. 7, when a group of dogs got through a five foot wire fence into the pens and hay barn at 3820 Whartons Dock Road, resulting in the immediate death of 24 adult and baby sheep and goats with injuries to many more. Property owners, Randy and Helen Schaefer, believe the attack happened between 3 and 5 in the morning.
The first two attacks occurred at 3890 Whartons Dock Road, next door to the Schaefers. Property owners Margaret and James Curtis recalled that the first attack happened on Thursday, Dec. 22. The dogs had apparently run their goats into a creek bed and left 22 dead and seven more crippled.
The second attack on the Curtis ranch occurred on New Years day on the opposite side of the ranch, closer to the Schaefer’s’ property. This time they killed five more.
Original reports from the three attacks indicated a total of 51 dead and an undetermined number injured with various degrees of severity. According to Randy, the death toll from the original attacks has since risen to about 80 and is still climbing. “We originally had 43 Sheep, we are down to just 4 adults now and they each have had their ears chewed off”, he said.
“After my daughter posted the incident on Facebook, we had a lot of interest in our loss. One follower, from Tennessee, actually gave us an Anatolian Shepherd to guard the goats,” Helen said. Randy has been awakened twice by the guard dog, warning of impending danger. “The first time I didn’t see anything, but the last time I saw a black dog running away”, he said. “The sheep and goats have not been attacked since we’ve had the guard dog with them, but I have found 4 White Fallow deer killed”, he continued.
According to Bandera County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Matt King, the investigations are still ongoing. “We have had two attacks with more goats killed off of English Crossing Road, just about a quarter mile from the original locations. Eight Boer Cross goats were lost on the Browning ranch on Sunday, Feb. 5”, he said. “We have been unable to locate the dogs in question. Any information that local residents can offer to assist us will be greatly appreciated”, he added.
The Bandera County Sheriffs Department would appreciate any information from residents in the area that may assist them in locating the animals before more damage is incurred. Please call 830-796-3771.