Dozens of farm animals killed in brutal dog attack

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by KREM.com/Rebecca Perry

KREM.com

Posted on April 5, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 6 at 1:31 PM

TUM TUM, Wash. -- A vicious attack Tuesday by a pack of dogs left dozens of valuable farm animals dead or maimed. Authorities don't know if the dogs are wild or if people's pets have packed up like a terrorizing gang.

"From the tracks it looks like they started with the chickens, then ripped the rabbit cages open, ripped all the rabbits out, killed all the babies in the nest, and then they saw the sheep," said Sabrina Crooks.  Crooks and her mother Mariann are friends of the farm's owner.  Both of them are nursing some of the injured animals back to health.

The Stevens County Sheriff's Office is now on the lookout for a pack of dogs, believed to have caused the destruction.  They wiped out an entire flock of sheep, along with 25 chickens and 10 pregnant rabbits.  A baby bunny was the lone survivor of one of the cages. "Nothing was eaten.  They weren't there for food. They weren't hungry, it was just a game. Odds are they'll come back," said Mariann.

For now, all the vulnerable animals the dogs didn't kill are staying at the Crook's. "I'll be milking all the baby goats because there's like 30 of them," said Sabrina.  The majority of the animals killed in the attack were going to be sold.  The family is now out thousands of dollars, and they aren't alone.

This is the second attack on a farm in the area over the last few days.  "Dogs once they pack up are dangerous, not just to animals, once they start taking down 300 lb. sheep you gotta worry about what's going to come next," said Mariann. 

With no knowledge of what dogs did this or where they are now, the owner's son says he's anxious about the nights to come.  "Yes, I'm nervous because I don't want them coming back, but no, because this time we're ready," said Stephen Hendricks.

The Crooks and Hendricks say they are staying up all night to protect what's left of the animals. The Stevens County Sheriff's Office says attacks on farm animals are not uncommon, but the magnitude of this one is concerning.  That's why they are setting up patrols in the area to try and catch these dogs before they can attack again.

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