(Riverton, Wyo.) -The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of 44 head of sheep that were killed by dogs running at large Tuesday night at the Bill Jennings farm north of Riverton. More sheep are expected to die of their injuries, said Captain Ryan Lee.
Investigating Deputy Sara Trehearne said it appeared that the dogs entered a feed lot at the farm and ran the sheep against the outer fence and feed bunks. She said the sheep appeared to have died due to being trampled while others were directly attacked by the dogs. “The dogs bunched them up and they trampled each other,” she said. “There were piles of dead sheep.”
Trehearne said the Jennings farm had a similar incident occur last year, at about this same time, but that fewer sheep were killed.
“It appears that we have two dogs that are responsible for this but there may be more. We have had this problem in the past in this same area,” Lee said. ”If you own a dog and you fail to keep the dog from running at large, you have committed a criminal offense.” Lee said the dogs involved in the killing ran off after the incident and they have not been identified as this time.
Dog owners are held criminally liable for damages to persons or livestock, as well as fines, and the dog can be destroyed if it is determined vicious.
Jennings indicated the initial loss was about $6,000 worth of livestock.
The investigation is ongoing.