Community Members Tracking Down Vicious Dogs in Stevens County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Community Members Tracking Down Vicious Dogs in Stevens County

STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - The killing of domesticated animals by dangerous dogs in Stevens County has come to a fever pitch this week. Thursday, KHQ found out that the pack of dogs have killed 74 pets in just a few months, with more attacks in just the last few days.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the attacks appear to be centered around the Bittrich Antler and Scotts Valley Road areas as well as the 6800 to 7200 block of Hwy 291 in Southern Stevens County. To date, efforts to locate the dogs and their owners have been unsuccessful.

It's the reason why the community stepped in to take action. Thursday, KHQ followed several community members and police volunteers as they canvassed neighborhoods in Tum Tum with pictures of the dogs, caught on game cameras, as well as flyers with one goal in mind: track the dogs down.

So Leo Richey, a volunteer for the Stevens County Citizens Action Team (SCCAT), and his colleague went door-to-door searching for information about the whereabouts of the dogs.

"We're wondering if you've seen them; they're very dangerous," Richey said to a homeowner.

Pictures caught on a game camera show several dogs in a fenced-in area on private property late at night. Stevens County deputies believe there are five in all and, based on the photos, suspect one is a wolf hybrid.

"This is a start," Richey said. "The way we have to start to get the information on these dogs."

Stevens County investigators are running under the assumption that the dogs belong to someone since one dog had a collar and they're never seen during the day. All of the attacks have happened at night.

With maps spread out, Stevens County Deputy Keith Cochran showed KHQ all the spots the dogs attacked as well as the areas the team will search. He estimated the SCCAT volunteers and community members would canvass a 20 mile area.

"This is serious enough that we want to get a handle on it," Deputy Cochran said.

"I'm excited that they're doing it," homeowner Kerri Hendrix said. "It would be nice to have some breathing room and not feel panic every night."

Hendrix said the pack slaughtered close to four-dozen of her animals including lambs, sheep, rabbits, and goats.

"It was awful," she said. "It was a massacre. The kids found it and that made it even worse. You actually just kind of go through shock. They're animals but they're kind of members of the family too. It's hard."

It's the reason why Hendrix keeps the remaining livestock, including several dozen goats, horses and cows temporarily closed up in pens in her backyard. She's even turned a gazebo into a pseudo-shelter to protect them from another attack. She also said she doesn't let her kids play at night and sometimes, Hendrix said, she'll make rounds around her backyard with a shotgun, just in case.

"It wasn't even as much of a game as it was a hunt. They're just killing," she continued.

Hendrix raises the animals for milk and cheese and said the attack has been devastating for her family business. Following the brutal attack, Hendrix has this message to the owners of the dogs: "I think they need to put themselves in our shoes. What would they feel if everything they've worked for 10 years was killed in one night?"

Volunteer Richey continued,"Right now, they've only attacked animals but who knows what's in the future?"

For now, Hendrix, her kids and her and her animals are in a holding pattern, waiting and hoping that someone will recognize the dogs to put a stop to the killing.

"My hope is high," Hendrix said.

For now, the volunteers, community leaders as well as Fish and Wildlife officers will continue to look for the dog owners who could face dangerous dog charges.

CONTACTS TO CALL:

The Stevens County Sheriff's Office is asking for assistance in identifying the owner(s) of the animals shown in these photographs. If anyone has information regarding the location of these dogs and their owner(s), please contact the Sheriff's Office at 509-684-2555 or 1-800-572-0947.

Stevens County Community Action Team (SCCAT): 509-468-7507

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