Killer dogs slaughter sheep

KILLER dogs are believed to be responsible for raids on an Apple Tree Creek hobby farm in which sheep were mauled, killed and eaten in two successive weeks.

Phil and Evie Kerridge have lived on their 24-hectare (60-acre) property for nearly six years and suffered no loss of stock until the early hours of Friday, January 29. A second attack happened early yesterday.

The pair has now lost five of their nine sheep.

“Why now, and why on two Friday mornings?” Mr Kerridge said.

“We’ve had absolutely no trouble with dingoes before, so we don’t think they’re responsible.”

The Kerridges are also puzzled their poultry and other livestock were spared.

“We know our neighbours dogs wouldn’t be responsible because they’ve been over here with the sheep and never shown an inclination to want to attack, so they wouldn’t be doing it now,” Mr Kerridge said.

A heavy iron gate was bent on the first night, such was the intensity of the attack, when three sheep were killed and eaten in the paddock.

All that remained from that frenzied feast were the feet of the sheep.

Yesterday, two sheep had flesh ripped from their hindquarters, but escaped.

However, not so fortunate was a small ewe that was gutted and partially eaten, while another is missing from the property.

Mr Kerridge said the couple was unaware of the first grizzly attack until they found the remains next morning, but he lamented not investigating his barking dogs yesterday morning.

“I heard our dogs barking early, and I’m kicking myself for not going down to have a look,” he said.

His wife said she was upset by the ferocity of the attacks.

“It’s just terrible. They would have died a horrible, horrible death,” she said.

Bundaberg Regional Council animal control contractor John Cottam investigated the Kerridge’s complaint and inspected paw prints in the sand.

“By the size of the paw print, that dog is at least a medium-sized dog,” Mr Cottam said.

He said he was unable to shed any light on the breed, or number of dogs responsible.

“From my experience, though, I don’t believe dingoes are responsible,” he said.

Mr Cottam said there had not been any similar incidents reported recently.

The Kerridges are now left with no option but to secure the remaining sheep in a pen at night, and apply for firearms licences.

“Any unidentified dog that comes on our property from now on will be shot on sight,” he said.

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