Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • NDSU seeks payment after dogs kill 12 of its sheep

  • The Fargo Police Department impounded the dogs and later released them back to their owner.
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  • North Dakota State University plans to seek compensation from the owner of two dogs that attacked a flock of sheep in a campus research barn, killing several of them.
    The two huskies killed seven of the sheep and injured five others so badly that they had to be euthanized. Six others were treated for injuries.
    The sheep were part of a flock of about 500 that are housed in three barns and used for research and training purposes.
    "It's disheartening to see this happen," Greg Lardy, head of the university's Animal Sciences Department, told WDAY-TV. "Our students and student workers, our employees there care deeply about the sheep. They really work hard to care for the sheep and so they're affected by it and they're hurt by it."
    NDSU is still calculating the monetary loss but Lardy told The Forum that it likely will be in the thousands of dollars. The university plans to sue the dogs' owner for compensation, and authorities were planning to cite him for having dogs wandering around unattended, which is punishable by up to a $500 fine. The owner hasn't been publicly identified.
    Lardy said the barn site is fenced-in and it's not clear how the dogs got inside.
    Campus Police Lt. Greg Stone told the newspaper that employees discovered the dogs when they showed up for work Tuesday morning.
    "They (the dogs) had probably been in there for a while, because they'd done a lot of carnage," he said.
    The dogs were no longer attacking the sheep when police arrived, Stone said.
    "They were just lying around, lounging, and they were good. They were good around people," he said.
    The Fargo Police Department impounded the dogs and later released them back to their owner.
    "The owner was contrite," Stone said. "He showed me where he keeps the dogs, and he said that a visitor at his home had accidentally let the dogs out."
    Officials at the F-M Dog Obedience School said the huskies aren't necessarily vicious.
    "Kind of like a cat and mouse game, a cat will play with a mouse until it dies ... well if a dog's in that frenzy, in that state of mind, they're going to do the same thing," dog trainer Mary Higdem told KVLY-TV. "If the sheep are there in the neighborhood playing with them, they're always going to see those sheep running and playing. It's just the thrill of the game."
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