More than 30 animals, including alpacas, chickens and goats have been killed in the Sun Country and Outback Estates neighborhoods, near Elizabeth in Elbert County, over the past couple months. The …
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More than 30 animals, including alpacas, chickens and goats have been killed in the Sun Country and Outback Estates neighborhoods, near Elizabeth in Elbert County, over the past couple months. The animals were killed by two aggressive dogs. Nine alpacas were killed in one spree, and three killed during another incident.
According to Elbert County Undersheriff Dave Fisher, one of the dogs is more aggressive and appears to be killing for sport rather than for food. The dogs have been elusive, and appear to kill at night, and are assumed to bedding down somewhere during the day.
Residents of the area are concerned for their livestock, and have held networking meetings to determine what can be done, including actively searching for the dogs and killing them.
“You may protect your animals from attacks by using deadly force on an animal attacking your livestock, but please be careful what you are aiming at and where your rounds may go,” said Fisher, in a statement he posted on the Sun Country Nextdoor social-media site. “We do not want anyone running around with firearms shooting everything in sight. We prefer that you call us and use a flashlight and noise to attempt to scare off the dogs.”
Crisy Howell lives in the area and owns alpacas, and said she had never had any problem with predators, such as coyotes, attacking her animals.
“I've never in my life had an issue with a coyote on my alpacas,” said Howell. “Once we started piecing together the killings and the locations, it's clear these dogs are not killing for food. They're not underfed, they're not mangy or sick. These are healthy, big, dangerous and scary dogs.”
Howell said she has been in touch with the sheriff's office, and they are doing everything they can to help find the dogs and remove them. However, she fears fellow residents will take matters into their own hands.
“Now we have people saying they're going on a manhunt, so not only do we have these rogue, dangerous dogs out there, now we have people who are not trained to handle situations that would require shooting an animal within a residential scenario,” said Howell.
Fisher said Elbert County sheriff's personnel have been authorized to dispatch the dog immediately if they find it, and he has notified the District Wildlife manager, members of Rattlesnake Fire District and Colorado Parks and Wildlife for support.
“In the meantime, please keep your small children and pets indoors at night, when a majority of these attacks are occurring,” said Fisher. “If you should see this dog please contact the sheriff's office at 303-660-7500. If this dog is actively attacking animals, please call 911. If you know the owners of these dogs, please call us immediately.”
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