Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dogs ARE Predators!

Barbie - February 2012.  One of 2 does killed by dogs on November 20, 2012

I'm frustrated today.  I know I should be happy, it's still "officially" the holiday season, but I've been reading comments on a fellow farmer's FB wall, and it irritates me to no end to see that ignorance about dogs is still so prevalent.

Upright Alpaca Farm, LLC (UAF) in Tappahannock, Virginia lost 13 of their 15 beloved alpacas to a dog attack a while back.  The dogs had been ordered to be euthanized, but the owner appealed, at which point the dogs were held in the Essex County shelter until the appeal could be heard.  The day before it was to be heard, the owner dropped his appeal, and the dogs were ordered to be put down last week.  However, last week the dogs were "stolen" from the shelter in the middle of the night (  UAF posted on their page to make people aware of what the dogs look like, and asked everyone to be on the lookout for these two dogs (  There was also an investigation done by a reporter, A.J., from Channel 8 in Richmond, VA (  Again, some of the comments left on his Facebook wall are extremely ignorant (not stupid - that has a completely different meaning - just ignorant, as in not knowing any better).

Dogs are, at their core, predators, and live in packs.  When we have a "pet" dog, WE become their pack, and one of us, the humans of the pack, *should* be the alpha "dog."  However, too many times people see their dogs as beloved family members and try to humanize them, so they can't imagine that their beloved pet could ever do anything as horrific as killing another animal.  In the case of the attack at UAF, and in the case of the dogs that killed two of my beloved pregnant dairy goats on November 20, 2012, the dogs' owners have stated that some "other" animal must have done the killing, and that their dogs "smelled blood," which is how they ended up at the scene of the brutal killings.  People on Facebook have stated that it's "not natural" for a pet to kill.  Really?  They obviously haven't done their research.  When 2 or more dogs get together (which is usually, though not always, the case in livestock attacks/killings), they become a pack and go into a pack mentality.  They can and do kill, which is why it is so important for dogs to be kept at home, both to keep them safe, and to keep others' animals safe, as well.

My granddaughter, Taeya, with Dora's 2012 triplets.
The two dogs that killed my goats will never kill again; they were shot and killed that day, when they came back to my farm and went after my chickens.  Most farmers, however, aren't lucky enough to catch the dogs in the act, and many never know who owns the dogs involved.  It's a nightmare for everyone involved and is so very easily preventable...

I hope you all had a wonderful, safe Christmas with your family.  My rant is over for now...

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