By Frederick Bader
Around 7:15 on Sunday morning, Stockebrand went out to the shed only to find a sheep lying by the feeder. “Then I heard dogs,” Stockebrand said. “I saw them attacking a goat. We couldn’t get the gun safe open, or we would have been out there sooner. There will be a rifle in the back of my closet now.”
When she saw the wounded sheep, Stockebrand called the sheriff, and two deputies responded. Deputies chased the dogs to what they thought was an abandoned house, which actually belongs to Ken Mayfield, the owner of at least one of the dogs. Two dogs fled but the other turned and charged a deputy, who shot it.
As Stockebrand walked around the property to assess her goat’s health, she came across more animals that had been wounded. “I saw one animal lying on the ground, then another, then another,” Stockebrand said. Ultimately, in addition to the two goats killed initially, eight other animals were injured to various degrees. Four will probably live, but may not breed because of the shock from the attack.
The attack was not the first on Stockebrand’s property. On August 13, 2013, two of the Stockebrands’ animals were attacked by the same dogs. A goat was killed and a ewe was attacked, but survived. That ewe died in this year’s attack. “The dogs didn’t eat anything, they just kill for the sake of killing,” Stockebrand said. “People should be aware of this. Those dogs live by the pool, where people swim, run, ride bikes… They could attack someone’s dog, or a person.”
Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton believes that his deputy acted correctly in putting down the dog. “It’s an unfortunate situation for all parties involved,” Walton said. “But the deputies saw the carnage that one dog in particular had committed. They weren’t sure, if the dogs got into the city of Halstead, if they could do that to a person.”
Last year’s incident, coupled with Sunday’s attack, has racked up over $2,000 in lost livestock. But the financial cost isn’t the only pain inflicted on the Stockebrands. “I was walking past the bodies and my granddaughter was calling them by name,” Stockebrand said. “I’m just glad she didn’t see them actually being attacked. It’s so hard for a child. It should never have to happen.”
“I truly feel for the owner of the dog and the children for whom this dog was a pet,” Walton said. “But you have to remember that those sheep and goats were pets too for the people who were raising them.”
Mayfield was not available for comment at the time of publication.