An East Montgomery County family found a grisly scene after they were awakened by barking dogs early Thursday morning. About 15 sheep were dead or dying, having been literally ripped to pieces by a pair of pit bulls allowed to roam the neighborhood.
Robert Currie, who lives on SH 105 east of Security, said it was the third time in a matter of a few months his neighbor’s pits have gone onto his property and attacked and killed his family’s show sheep. It was the second time the dogs made threatening gestures toward him, he said. The barking of other dogs alerted Currie and his wife. He chased the pits from his pasture and they ran to home to his neighbor’s house.
Currie is frustrated because he has been unable to get any help from law enforcement or animal control officials, who responded to the scene, but said there was nothing they could do because the pit bulls were no longer on Currie’s property and their owner had taken them indoors. Currie told them this time was different because he had seen the dogs in the act, with his own eyes and seen them run home when he chased them from his property. However, Currie says Animal Control officials said the most they could do was write the pit bulls’ owner a citation.
The first time the dogs attacked and killed about the same number of his sheep, Currie said he went to the dog’s owner and the owner told him the dogs had not done it. Currie gave the dogs’ owner the benefit of the doubt and assumed it was coyotes, but says what coyotes do to sheep and what pit bulls do is very different.
“Coyotes usually attack and damage them, then leave and come back later,” Currie said. “These dogs just stay to play – They just tear off their face and play with them.”
“They’re not here for food – they’re here for sport.”
When Currie still thought the predators might be coyotes, he once baited a carcass by injecting it with anti-freeze, assuming the coyotes would eat some and then run away and die. But then, he told Animal Control what he was doing and they informed him he could be cited for cruelty to animals.
His family has raised show sheep for years. Currie’s 30-year-old daughter showed sheep, once winning county champion and winning classes in Houston and San Antonio. His 12-year-old daughter Abby has followed in her sister’s footsteps, or at least she was before two pit bulls ripped her dreams apart Thursday morning.
Abby was awakened by the other dogs barking a little after her parents, but she walked out to the same gruesome sight.
“I heard the dogs barking and it woke me up, so I came out here and my parents were screaming,” she said. “It made me feel sad to see them all.”
“It’s sad to see them dying when they would be my show animals,” Abby said. “It’s hard to see them suffering.”
The soon to be seventh grader was not as emotional as might be expected because, unfortunately, she has seen this carnage before.
Currie says when he was explaining the problem to Animal Control officials, again, he mentioned that he would have to “put down” several of his sheep and he was then asked how he planned to do so. When Currie told them he would shoot his sheep to put them out of their misery, he says they again told him he could be cited for “cruelty to animals.”
“There’s really no protection for the person that’s been offended, it protects the offender,” Currie said.
As of this third killing spree, Currie says his family has lost around 30 well-bred and costly sheep. In similar situations in Montgomery County, civil suits have been filed and won by the owners of the murdered livestock. Unfortunately, a judgment is only a piece of paper if the pit bull owners don’t have the money to cover the plaintiff’s losses.
As of press time, the Currie family was again out thousands of dollars and the pit bulls’ owners were hiding their dogs in the house, probably waiting for law enforcement and news media to leave the area.
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