Pet Dogs VS Livestock: Part Two
Almost a year ago, we ran a story about the damage pet dogs running loose can do to livestock. Today another cow had to be put down in eastern Humboldt after dogs attacked her. Rancher Wesley Moore explained this “happens a lot.” The cow, he said, “had a broken shoulder, her bag chewed off and both ears chewed completely off.”
The way the dogs torture the cows before they die hurts, said Moore. “It literally makes me cry when I see something like that and I’m pretty hardhearted.”
He tried to save the cow but this morning he knew she wasn’t going to survive and had to put her down.
“[Dog attacks] happen on at least a weekly basis,” he said. “It’s awful. It turns your stomach.”
The cows are frequently protecting their calves. Right now, Moore says, “My little calves are only a month old.” When dogs attack, he says, “One cow tries to fight off the dogs while the others take the babies to safety.”
Often, he said, that means the defending cow is injured or killed. “Once those dogs single an animal out…once they get the blood in their mouth, they just stay on it till its dead or don’t fight back any more.”
His cows are not the only animals killed by people’s dogs, he said. “They kill all the deer up there, too.”
He’s worried that a human could be injured too. A year ago, said Moore, a worker on their property was attacked while running a chainsaw. The man was very large and “a pit bull attacked him and jerked him off his feet. Fortunately, when he jerked him over, the chainsaw nicked the dog’s nose.” The dog ran off.
What particularly worries him is that his son had been in the area not long before the attack. “My 10-year-old had been playing close to there 45 minutes before. It would have taken one bite and…” he trailed off. “We don’t let him [play alone on the ranch] anymore,” he said.
In last year’s article, Rancher Tj Chapman who lost a cow to pet dogs said she wanted to educate dog owners. She wrote on her blog, “Animals die when dog’s run free. We now have a fresh grave with 2 dogs and one cow. It’s not that only bad dogs or unloving dogs, or dogs trained to kill [that] do damage, all dogs loose will form a pack and chase, circle up and kill.”
These ranchers are asking you for their cows’ sake, for your pet’s sake, for their children’s sake, do you know where your dogs are now? Are they running free? If so, they may be killing other animals and they may end up dead themselves.