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Published May 07, 2013, 04:53 PM

NDSU to seek compensation from owner of dogs that killed sheep in barn

North Dakota State University plans to seek compensation from the owner of two dogs that attacked a flock of sheep inside a research barn, killing seven sheep and injuring five others that had to be euthanized.

By: Mike Nowatzki, Forum News Service

FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota State University plans to seek compensation from the owner of two dogs that attacked a flock of sheep inside a research barn, killing seven sheep and injuring five others that had to be euthanized.

Campus police Lt. Greg Stone said employees discovered the dogs when they showed up for work around 8 a.m. Tuesday at the barn located in the 3200 block of 19th Avenue North, northwest of the main NDSU campus.

“They’d probably been in there for a while, because they’d done a lot of carnage,” he said of the dogs, both huskies.

Of the dozen sheep that were killed or euthanized, four were lambs born this year, said Greg Lardy, head of NDSU’s Department of Animal Sciences. Six other sheep were being treated for their injuries, he said.

The dogs were no longer attacking the sheep when police arrived, Stone said.

“They were just lying around, lounging, and they were good. They were good around people,” he said.

An animal control officer from the Fargo Police Department impounded the dogs. Stone said he didn’t know what would happen to the dogs, but he said they probably won’t be euthanized.

The dogs both had tags listing a north Fargo address, Stone said. Police hadn’t contacted the dogs’ owner yet and were looking at what city ordinances or state laws may have been broken. At a minimum, the owner could be cited for dog running at large, a noncriminal infraction carrying up to a $500 fine, he said.

Lardy said the dogs attacked the sheep sometime between 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday morning.

The three barns at the site contained about 500 sheep. The site is fenced, and Lardy said it’s unclear how the dogs got inside the barn.

University officials were still calculating the financial loss, but Lardy said it will likely be in the thousands of dollars. He said the university intends to seek compensation from the dogs’ owner through a civil case.

Lardy said the NDSU staff and students who work at the barn “care very passionately about the animals that they take care of, and an incident like this is hard on them.

“They take it personally because they obviously develop a human-animal bond with those animals, so they feel very bad,” he said.

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