Type to search

Livestock dog that killed eight coyotes still on the road to recovery

Decatur Metro ATL Trending

Livestock dog that killed eight coyotes still on the road to recovery

Casper, the livestock dog that killed eight coyotes, is still on the road to recovery after suffering several injuries. Photo courtesy of John Wierwille.

Greater Decatur, GA — Casper, the livestock guardian dog who killed eight coyotes, is still on the road to recovery after sustaining several injuries. His owner John Wierwille said in a Facebook post on Nov. 28 that the veterinarians were able to close the wound on Casper’s neck.

“This is really great because it is so much easier to control infection when the wound is not so open, and if all goes well, he will need no skin grafts in that area. It really is a remarkable bit of news, and we are celebrating,” Wierwille said in the post. “Casper will be back to the Lifeline Clinic [on Nov. 28] for a check-up there and probably to stay for several more days (it is a lot less expensive than boarding and follow up at the emergency vet).”

Wierwille told Decaturish that Casper is doing okay, although is a little stressed being confined for so long. The three major wounds on Casper’s neck, back, and tail are healing pretty nicely. He added that the veterinarian is still worried about the neck wound, although it has been closed.

“The wound on his back is healing very nicely, but at this point he will probably still have a huge scar because there is no tissue to pull it together,” Wierwille said. “His amputated tail is also healing nicely. So, all in all, he is well but still getting heavy care, and I was told last night he won’t be home until at least late next week and even then, we will be bringing him back in every couple days for wound care. One day, though, it seems he will be back out trotting around with his sheep.  A few weeks ago, we could not say that.”

In the early hours of the morning on Friday, Nov. 4, Wierwille heard Casper barking and went outside to check on his dogs and sheep. His dogs usually don’t bark unless they feel a threat or are warning off other creatures, “but they don’t bark otherwise because a bark is for a purpose,” he said.

Wierwille had been clearing a small property by his home to have some extra space for his sheep. He is a shepherd, but like most shepherds, he doesn’t have land of his own.

“As an urban shepherd, my primary work is finding good pasture for a few hundred otherwise homeless sheep,” Wierwille said. “I do that by leasing them out to clear brush in parks and backyards and around schools and other public buildings.”

Early Friday morning, his dogs, Casper and Daisy, were protecting five sheep near Wierwille’s home. As he walked outside in the dark, he saw several coyotes. Daisy had the sheep backed up in a corner and was standing in front of them. Casper was standing in front of Daisy.

As Wierwille approached the fence, Casper took off after the coyotes to protect his herd.

In total, Casper killed eight coyotes.

“Usually, the coyotes would just leave. That’s not how they usually act,” Wierwille said. “I honestly do think it had everything to do with them just being in a larger group than they usually are in. We’ve never really seen them act like that before.”

He later added that he continues to support the Atlanta Coyote Project and their advice not to kill coyotes, but to try to co-exist with them. While the dogs do kill coyotes and foxes from time to time, they are mainly there to ward off predators, and that’s what Wierwille prefers.

Wierwille and his family and friends couldn’t find Casper for about two days after the encounter with the coyotes. He was worried because he knew Casper was hurt.

Wierwille and his friends searched the areas from Mason Mill to Frazier Road, and in the neighborhoods on both sides of Burnt Fork Creek and the railroad line. They had almost given up hope on Saturday after searching for Casper with no luck.

“We looked all day Friday, all day Saturday, and then Sunday morning, I went out with my daughter to feed the chickens,” Wierwille said. “There’s this old chicken hutch that we raise the baby chicks in, and Casper poked his out of it as we were walking by. He scared the bejeezus out of me.”

While Wierwille was startled, he was just happy to see his dog on that Sunday morning. He was also scared for Casper and unsure how he would be able to help.

Casper looked terrible when they found him. He looked like something out of a zombie movie. His right eye was full of blood, and he had several open wounds from being bitten by the coyotes. Wierwille wasn’t sure at the time how Casper was still alive.

After getting Casper cleaned and bandaged up, the family was able to get him care at LifeLine Animal Project. Tracy Thompson, shelter director at LifeLine Animal Project, previously said Casper was doing well, and he had lost a lot of skin, so his wounds require daily care.

Thompson added that Casper has surprised everyone with his will to live and sweet spirit. The staff at the first veterinary clinic Casper was at also said he was brave during each wound care session.

“He had a tail amputation and lots of necrotic tissue removed in the first few days. After that, it was and will continue to be daily wound care,” Thompson said.

LifeLine is working with the family to work out the cost of Casper’s care. They have set up a system for collecting donations. For anyone interested in contributing, there’s a box to check to designate a tribute gift, and a space to note the donation is for Casper Wierwille. To make a donation, click here.

If you appreciate our work on this story, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $6 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community. To become a supporter, click here

Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here

Decaturish is now on Mastadon. To follow us, visit: https://newsie.social/@Decaturish/.

Decaturish is now on Post. To follow us, visit: https://post.news/decaturish.