The Wenatchee World
McClatchy Regional News
TONASKET — A pack of dogs killed nine goats in the Mt. Hull area northeast of Tonasket this week.
That was the conclusion of state Department of Fish and Wildlife officers who responded to a call Monday from residents at 34 Browser Way. Livestock owners thought a cougar may have gotten into their goat pen, and called the state.
Wildlife officers examined the goats, then set up a trap with goat meat inside. On Monday night, three dogs were captured on camera, including one that was inside the pen in the morning.
No cougar tracks were found in the surrounding area, and when the wildlife officer returned on Tuesday, two German shepherd-type dogs were chasing sheep in the area, leading the officer to conclude the pack of dogs had killed the goats.
“This one pack of dogs did more damage than any five wolf incidents we go to, the Wedge Pack excepted,” said Wildlife Sgt. Jim Brown. “To have an entire pen full of goats killed — I’m not saying wolves won’t do that, but we haven’t seen it yet,” he said.
Brown said he believes the dogs are still at large.
Earlier this year, residents had asked county commissioners to hire an animal control officer who would respond only to animal complaints. The calls currently fall to the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, and deputies respond if they’re not handling more pressing criminal cases.
Sheriff Frank Rogers said the owners of the goats did not contact his office. He said the Mt. Hull area has had problems with packs of dogs off and on for years. A few years ago, the goat owners complained about dogs killing their chickens, and were told they could shoot them if they were attacking their animals.