Domestic Dog Blamed for Oregon Sheep Deaths
April 5, 2019
Hoot Paulson arrived at his sheep pasture near Eugene, Ore., on Tuesday morning to find a grisly scene. Dozens of dead and dying sheep lay in the six-acre field with faces torn, skulls crushed and some missing eyes and ears. Whatever ravaged the flock the night before, Paulson said, it left nothing but carnage.
“There was no feeding,” said Paulson, 35, who runs H Paulson Livestock and Feed. “It was just malicious blood sport, is what it was.”
All told, 20 ewes and 24 lambs died, many of which Paulson had to euthanize. He had previously purchased 30 pregnant ewes as a present for his fiancee, which was supposed to be her start raising livestock as part of the family business.
Chris Yee, district wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said a large domestic dog is likely the culprit, based on tracks and the “incredibly sloppy” method of killing.
“It didn’t fit the killing method of a cougar, or bear or any other predator we have in this area,” Yee said.
While ODFW has recently confirmed the presence of wolves on national forest land in Lane and Douglas counties, Yee said he was able to immediately rule out the possibility of a wolf attack.
“It was pretty obvious from the start it was something else,” he said. “Most of the trauma was to the head … That’s not an efficient way for a predator to kill an animal.”
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Source: Capital Press