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Charges sought against owners of alleged sheep-killing dogs

Published November 19, 2012 9:34 am

West Mountain • Attacks left 18 sheep dead, six injured.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah County sheriff's deputies are seeking charges against owners of several dogs involved in attacks on a herd of sheep that left 18 of the animals dead and a half-dozen more injured.

Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said Monday that the district attorney would screen the charges, which ranged from allowing dogs to run at large, allowing attacks by dogs and maintaining a public nuisance. Those charges are misdemeanors, punishable by up to six months in jail and-or up to a $1,000 fines.

The owners — two West Mountain residents — also will be asked to make restitution for damages of up to $20,000, according to Deana Jepperson, whose Santaquin family owns the herd attacked by the pack the weekend of Nov. 10-11.

Cannon also confirmed Monday that one of the four dogs involved in the killings had been shot by an owner of the sheep on Sunday when it allegedly returned to the attack. Deputies tracked the dog to the home of one of the two owners; the wounded animal later was euthanized by the owner, Cannon said.

The eventual fate of the remaining dogs, which remained with their owners, awaited the outcome of any prosecution.

Jepperson said there were several witnesses — including two deputies — to the attacks on her family's sheep.

Losses ranged between $11,000 and $20,000, but are difficult to assess, Jepperson said, since in addition to the loss of the sheep the potential for those ewes production of lambs over several years, and whether the surviving but injured sheep will be able to reproduce, must be factored in.

remims@sltrib.com