'The dogs that did this will do it again': 41 ewes and lambs found slaughtered in field
JUNCTION CITY, Ore. - Leslie Anthone arrived at her farm off Clear Lake Road, opened the gate - and found a field full of horrors.
"I just sat down on the ground and prayed," she said.
The death toll: 41 of her 53 ewes and newborn lambs.
"Those poor babies running around looking for their moms," Anthone recalled, "and they're just spread out dead all over the field like torn apart dead."
Anthone called the authorities and the Department of Fish & Wildlife after discovering the carnage Tuesday.
She said clues left at the gruesome scene indicated to wildlife biologists that this was not done by wild animals.
"There's dog tracks and there's a spot on the south fence where it looks like they did some belly dragging to get under," she said.
Anthone and her fiance recently bought the 30 pregnant ewes - and were thrilled when the animals gave birth.
"I was there for all of the births," she said.
So when she saw them dead, she saw tens of thousand of dollars and thousand of hours of work destroyed.
"Everything that my whole family has helped me work for, gone," she said.
Even though it won't replace what was lost, she wants the owners of the dogs that are suspected of doing this to come forward.
"The dogs that did this will do it again," she said.
The 12 remaining sheep will be sold this weekend, something Anthone says will be equally hard.
Despite the setbacks, she said she won't give up on her dreams of raising livestock.
"We'll figure out a way to get through it," Anthone said, "and keep on trucking."
ODFW later reiterated that they suspect this was the work of dogs, not wolves.
Oregon State Police is now on the case, and they are searching for the suspect animals.