When the coyotes came to attack a flock of sheep living near Atlanta, this brave dog was not about to let it happen.
Great Pyrenees are powerful working dogs bred to protect their flock from predators. Despite their calm personalities, they will bravely spring into action to defend the animals in their care, even risking their own lives to do so.
So, when about a dozen coyotes got too close to the sheep Casper was guarding, he was not about to let any harm come to his flock. He came out fighting and did all he could to protect the sheep in his care.
All of the sheep survived the coyote encounter, but Casper almost lost his. When his owner found him, he had little hope he’d survive the wounds he received in the attack.
The encounter wasn’t easy and didn’t happen without a fight. It turned out that Casper was forced to kill eight coyotes before the conflict was over and the sheep were safe, even though he nearly lost his life doing so.
Casper received gaping wounds to his neck and side and even lost his tail. He was injured so badly, that even his veterinary team at Lifeline Animal Project didn’t know if the brave dog would survive.
“How bad are these wounds, and is it something that can be fixed? Or is it something that is beyond fixing? You know, that is what makes the quality of life an issue,” said Katrina Coleman, a vet tech at Lifeline Animal Project.
But despite the trauma of it all, Casper began to recover. And although he’s been at the hospital for a month, he is amazing his owner and vet team with his progress. His owner, John Weirville, said
“I can’t even explain how good it is to see him right now, because I felt like there was no way he was going to live when I saw him (after the attack).
Weirville is thankful to Casper for protecting the sheep and their livelihood. He owns Ewe Can Do It Naturally, a landscaping business that leases out sheep to clear brush from land. He is also part of Urban Shepherds, a nonprofit organization that promotes the grazing of sheep as a landscaping solution.
Although coyotes are common in the Atlanta area, to see a pack of this size is unusual, according to the Atlanta Coyote Project. “This is extremely unusual behavior for coyotes, and we suspect that there might be extenuating circumstances,” said Chris Mowry, a professor of biology at Berry College.
Mowry, who studies the behavior of coyotes in the metro, said coyotes live in small family groups and they are rarely aggressive. “In this particular situation, the only thing that makes sense is if there was a large litter this year and the pups hadn’t yet dispersed. This could potentially make sense if there are lots of resources available, which sounds like it might be the case in this area of Decatur.”
Despite Casper’s progress, he’s still in the animal hospital. Thankfully, the Lifeline Animal Project is donating their care to him as his vet bills have already exceeded $15,000.
We wish Casper the best and hope that he can go home soon. His team expects that to happen in about a week. What a brave boy for protecting the sheep. As always, please feel free to share his story with your friends.