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Lesson for pet owners after dogs kill goats, alpaca: 'I just ask that they keep their pets locked up so everybody's safe'

A farmer has a lesson for pet owners after two dogs on the loose killed 11 of his goats and one alpaca on his property

Posted: Apr 17, 2019 8:34 PM

OLMSTED COUNTY, Minn. – It’s something no farmer expects to happen, having their livestock attacked by dogs on the loose.

The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office tells KIMT on Monday, two St. Bernard’s got out of a fenced-in yard in the 100 block of 17th Street Northeast. They made it all the way to Darcy Drive Northeast in Haverhill Township.

The dogs ended up killing 11 goats and an alpaca.

David Bakken owns the goats and property they were on. He said his farmhand, Matthew Gurtner, came over and saw the dogs in the shed attacking the goats.

“He came down here to feed his goats and when he got here there was a terrible loud noise in there,” Bakken said. “They were just screaming, the goats were.”

Gurtner went home, grabbed his shotgun, and ended up killing one of the dogs and injuring the other.

“I think we had to,” Bakken said. “We had to because I don't think they'd go away because they were standing there looking at us and barking. I just feel bad talking about somebody's pet, you know because pets are very lovable.”

Bakken has three animals left, two fainting goats and one buck – which is a male goat.

He thinks it’s a terrible thing for everyone involved, but also a lesson for pet owners to be responsible.

“I just ask that they keep their pets locked up so everybody's safe,” Bakken said.

The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office is forwarding its report to Rochester Animal Control.

The dog owner has been cited for an animal at large under Haverhill Township.

KIMT did reach out to a dog trainer today. Annalissa Johnson owns Good Dog Camp.

She said the breed really doesn’t make a difference, given the fact that dogs’ genetics lead them to be predators.

However based on something called “pack mentality,” it can be tricky when two dogs are together.

“If you have dog A and you have dog B, you have the responsibility of each of those dogs,” Johnson said, “but then you have the responsibility of those two dogs together. So you have to be a lot more on top of their training and building that relationship with the dog and the human, versus letting the dogs building that relationship with each other.”

Johnson explains that all dogs bite. What matters is how they’re raised.

“The dogs being out and not having any leadership or guidance, so when left to their own devices, dogs do what dogs do,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, nobody in this situation wins. Everybody comes out losing.”

The future of the injured dog is uncertain. The owner said she will either take the dog to the rescue or put it down because she no longer feels safe having it around her kids.

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