Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 19, 2014

Local animal attack remains a mystery

Conservation officer believes pack of wild dogs could be responsible for horse's death

Residents west of Russiaville are still looking for answers after an animal attack caused the death of a resident’s horse more than a week ago.

A pack of wild dogs, or perhaps a hybrid breed of a wolf and dog, is believed to have attacked horses on two neighboring properties near 250 South, 750 West on March 9. Officials say the attack likely involved multiple animals.

One horse had to be put down when it suffered internal bleeding after it was chased into a fence post. Some of the other horses, Howard County Conservation Officer William Dale said, suffered minor bite and scratch marks during the attack.

The questions remains: What was it?

Dale has ruled out a wolf or coyote as the culprit, mainly because either animal likely would have tried to kill and eat the horses.

The more likely scenario, Dale said, is that a pack of wild dogs got into the horse pen, chasing two of the horses from one neighbor’s property toward another, where four other horses were attacked.

“Nobody knows what it was or saw anything,” Dale said. “Nobody can say whether it was a hybrid dog or a pack of dogs. Talking with a [DNR] biologist out of Lafayette, based on the attack, he does not believe it was a wolf or coyote. At this point, it seems that it was a few dogs running as strays that were attacking livestock and spooked some of the horses.”

Residents in the area believe a hybrid dog or dogs were the attackers, although Dale said there is no evidence as far as tracks or hair left behind to confirm those suspicions. A trail camera from one of the homeowners showed the horses running during the time of the incident, but no other animals were visible on the footage.

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