Tribal police shoot dogs suspected in alpaca attacks

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction, published Dec. 16, 2012:

Officers with the Lower Elwha Police Department shot and killed three dogs Dec. 3 after the dogs became aggressive toward the officers after the canines killed three alpacas.

A Dec. 13 report, based on earlier information from the tribe, incorrectly said police had killed five dogs and that the dogs had killed two alpacas.

There were five aggressive dogs total, but officers were able to fell only three, according to John Gresham, deputy police chief and Lower Elwha Klallam fish and wildlife officer.


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PORT ANGELES — Three dogs thought to be responsible for the deaths of three alpacas — as well as some chickens and a calf — were shot and killed by Lower Elwha Klallam Police after the dogs acted aggressively toward officers, a tribal spokeswoman confirmed this week.

Two tribal officers responded Dec. 3 to a property on Stratton Road about 5 miles west of Port Angeles after the property owner called 9-1-1 to report that a pack of dogs had killed three of the person's alpacas, said Brenda Francis-Thomas, Lower Elwha Klallam tribe spokeswoman.

One officer, later joined by a supervisor, arrived in the late afternoon to find the three alpacas dead, Francis-Thomas said.

An adult alpaca typically weighs between 100 pounds and 190 pounds, and stands more than 3 feet high at the shoulder.

The officers located a pack of five dogs and shot and killed three of them after they moved to attack the officers, Francis-Thomas said.

“It's not normal policy for [police] to react like that,” she said. “It was more of a safety issue.”

Tribal police had heard reports of dogs attacking and killing other animals — a calf in July and chickens in August, September, October and November — Francis-Thomas said, adding that police have not yet identified the dogs' owners.

Francis-Thomas said she could not say whether the dogs' owner or owners would be prosecuted for violating the reservation's vicious-dog ordinance.
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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 15. 2012 4:50PM
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