(Lander, Wyo.) – This morning, after having left the house for the day, Katie Swistowicz got a panicked phone call from her 10-year-old daughter.
Her daughter told her a dog had hopped their fence and attacked the family’s turkeys. Swistowicz owns and operates a poultry business called GobbleItUp on the 600 block of Railroad Street.
“My daughter said she saw a big black dog jump out of the fence, but it ran off,” she said. “She didn’t know what breed or type. I didn’t see a dog either.”
In an e-mail to County10, Swistowicz said she rushed home and found dozens of her 41 turkeys dead or dying. She found eight still living, but she had to euthanize four of them. One appeared completely unscathed and the other three only had minor injuries. In all, Swistowicz lost 37 turkeys.
The turkeys were being raise for sale for Thanksgiving, and Swistowicz estimates she lost about $3,200 in income.
In all, Swistowicz is trying to keep things in perspective.
“It is a situation where there is no blame or plenty of blame, depending on your point of view,” she said. “I can blame the dog, but a dog is a dog is a dog.”
She said she’s suffered losses from dog attacks before, including the deaths of 18 laying hens at one point.
“I was planning on moving them out to the country this weekend because they were just getting big enough to be inside an electric mesh fence without getting out,” she said. “But of course, timing is everything. The turkeys have been at my house for three or four weeks without incident. I guess the temptation was just to much.”
The Lander Police Department took a report of the attack. Lt. Chuck Carr said there are no suspect animals at this time.
(Photos provided by Katie Swistowicz.)