Civil Verdict Reached on Livestock Dogs Killed
March 11, 2016

Two brothers convicted of killing three livestock guardian dogs in 2012 while hunting in the Ochoco National Forest were ordered to pay nearly a quarter of a million dollars to the dogs' owner by a Crook County jury.

The brothers told a Crook County sheriff's deputy in 2012 they believed the three Great Pyrenees sheepdogs they confessed to shooting were wild dogs.

In the criminal case, the brothers pleaded no contest to a single count each of misdemeanor animal abuse. According to the dog's owner, Gordon Clark, they were sentenced to two years' probation, 80 hours of community service and $500 fines in late October 2013. They were also banned from hunting for one year and had to forfeit the .223-caliber rifle used to kill the dogs.

This week, a jury returned a verdict in the civil case after an eight-day trial. The brothers were ordered to pay Clark $7,500 for the replacement value of the dogs, $100,000 in emotional harm and $139,500 in punitive damages. Clark's hired hands found the dogs' bodies with fatal gunshot wounds on an Ochoco grazing allotment.

The brothers told the sheriff's deputy they were unfamiliar with large flocks of sheep in the area. A sheriff pointed out that the entry to the brothers' camp had large caution signs about sheep grazing nearby.

Reprinted in part from The Bulletin