Loose dogs accused of killing spree

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2001

KENAI (AP) -- State officials are cracking down on destructive dogs in the Kenai Peninsula.

Ted Spraker, area game biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Soldotna, said as many as 30 dogs on the central peninsula have been killed so far this year for harassing wildlife. Most were chasing moose calves.

''We are very serious about shooting free-ranging dogs that are chasing wildlife,'' Spraker said.

The problem, however, goes beyond wildlife to pets and livestock.

On Sunday, dogs killed 23 pedigree rabbits belonging to a breeder south of Soldotna.

Pat Lytle, whose family owns Roughy Road Rabbitry, said two dogs were inside her fence slaughtering rabbits in a blood frenzy. The dogs had broken through two sets of fences and bashed through heavy-wire cages to get at the animals.

''They literally ripped the gate off its hinges,'' Lytle told the Peninsula Clarion. ''There were just dead rabbits everywhere.''

She noticed what was happening and rushed out as one of the dogs sailed over the fence. The other dog also escaped.

Lytle said she got a good look at both dogs and reported the killings to Alaska State Troopers.

''This isn't little $5 bunnies,'' she said.

Lytle estimated the monetary loss at $2,535.

Peninsula residents seem to be more aware of the problem of violent dogs than they used to be, but Spraker said he was concerned about the attitudes of pet owners.

''It is tough to get people to take responsibility for their pets,'' he said. ''Excuses just run rampant.''

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