CHARLOTTE (AP) – A couple whose unlicensed dogs attacked a flock of sheep at a nearby farm – killing at least nine and injuring 10 others – have been issued summonses for letting their dogs run at large.

More charges are expected to be filed against Alan and Valerie Fenderson of Charlotte. And authorities expect to seek a court order to destroy the two husky-like dogs, which also attacked an animal control officer and menaced a woman and her two children.

The sheep belonged to Paula and Stephen Farrar, who are known for the fine wool they produce at their 50-acre farm in this town in eastern Washington County.

Most of the dead and injured sheep had their throats ripped apart. Among them were three of the Farrars’ prized Jacob sheep, one of the world’s oldest breeds. The couple estimated total damage and loss of business at more than $10,000.

Days after the Saturday attack, the sheep remained huddled in a group near the couple’s store.

“We usually have a bunch here, a bunch there,” Paula Farrar said. “They don’t want to leave each other. That herding instinct – the flock instinct – is even more heightened now because they feel so vulnerable.”

The couple’s first indication of the attack came when they spotted a dead sheep in the fenced-in pen. After boarding his four-wheeler to check on the herd in the pasture, Stephen Farrar came upon more dead sheep and the two roaming dogs.

While he returned to his house for his gun, one of the couple’s llamas chased the dogs away.

The couple contacted the town animal control officer, Larry Colarusso, who said the dogs had been running free for the past few weeks. He said he had captured them before and ordered the owners to keep them tied up, but they told him that the dogs chewed each other’s collars and also chewed through the couple’s chain-link fence.

Colarusso learned that after leaving the sheep farm, the dogs “had frightened a man’s wife and their children.” The animal control officer found the dogs at another neighbor’s house, where they tried to attack a caged rabbit.

He managed to coax one of the dogs into a truck, but the other dog bit Colarusso on the hands and arm, forcing him to the emergency room at a Calais hospital.

The Fendersons, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday, live more than three miles from the Farrar farm. They were ordered to keep the dogs confined for six days pending further action.

“I think the next thing after the six days is to see if we can get a court order to have these dogs put down,” said Sgt. Lester Seeley of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. “I don’t think we have any alternative. I love dogs, but the time has come that these dogs are not fit for society.”



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