Officers save sheep from dogs at large near Kremmling |

Officers save sheep from dogs at large near Kremmling

When two or more dogs get together and run loose, several million years of their evolution can often kick in and overcome the few thousand years of domestication by humans.

In such situations, dogs can revert to predator behavior and pack instinct when they are out of the control of their owners.

This is one of the reasons why there are laws in Grand County, Colorado, as well as elsewhere against allowing one’s dog to run free. In packs, they can become a real threat by attacking livestock, wildlife and even people, especially young children.

An instance of this type of aggressive canine behavior happened just last week when on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 28, Deputy Terry Faulkner was dispatched to the Kremmling area on the report of two dogs attacking sheep.

Arriving at the site of the attack, Deputy Faulkner met with Officer Robert Dillon of the Kremmling Police Department who had two huskies already tied up. Both of the dogs had fresh blood visible around their mouths. Nearby in a fenced area were three sheep bleeding from bite wounds.

Officer Dillon explained that while he was on patrol, a motorist had flagged him down and told him about the dogs attacking the sheep. He said the dogs “looked like wolves attacking, and that they went for the throats.”

Responding immediately to that location, Officer Dillon spotted the dogs still attacking the sheep in a pen. He attempted to scare them off but explained that the huskies “acted aggressively toward him until the sheep went around the corner.” After the sheep had gotten out of the immediate area, he said the dogs calmed down and he was able to capture them.

Within minutes of the attack, Grand County Animal Control Officer Robbin Stapleton arrived on scene to assist. Also reaching the attack site was Jeanne Jones, an assistant to Dr. John Colburn, a local veterinarian.

With the officers’ help, Jones loaded the badly wounded sheep into a trailer and took them to the vet’s office for treatment. One of the sheep was in very bad condition, having lost a lot of blood.

The two huskies were then loaded into the back of Stapleton’s Animal Control Vehicle. One of the dogs was an 8-year-old spayed female and the other was a 9-year-old neutered male.

From the dogs’ collars and county tags, the officers were able to identify the owners. Driving to their Kremmling residence, they met with 31-year-old Chad A. Bollman and 26-year-old Crystal Flannagan, who claimed their dogs had never before shown any aggressive behavior.

Bollman and Flannagan further said they had left the dogs inside their residence earlier that afternoon and apparently did not know how they had gotten out. However, they did admit the dogs had been impounded 3-1/2 months ago for “being at large.”

The two dogs were taken to the Grand County Animal Shelter in Granby and were later released to their owners after paying an impound fee. Further charges are pending.

At last report, the three sheep had survived the attack and were recovering.

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