Livestock attacks under investigation in Hanover County

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Savage attacks in Hanover County have left several livestock and other animals dead and seriously injured.

Hanover authorities put out a reverse 911 message today to put a stop to the bloodshed. This is happening in the Mountain and Bethany Church Roads area of Montpelier.

Coyotes have been ruled out. Jana Strickland believes a dog is behind the massacre at her home and place of business. What she doesn't know is where it came from.

Strickland walked into a gruesome scene last Tuesday.

"I saw the deer laying there and its head was completely blue," said Strickland.

Her Fallow deer that she's owned for 15 years. Markings on the barn illustrate its frantic attempt to find cover.

"You can see her hooves and legs on the barn where she was trying to get in," said Strickland.

Inside the barn, two goats, also dead.

"Whatever grabbed them grabbed them and didn't let go," said Strickland.

This duck barely survived.

"The vet says he may have a brain injury," said Strickland.

Strickland, who owns "Animals Unlimited", uses them and other exotic animals for educational and special events.

"These animals - I'm as close to as all my children," said Strickland.

Strickland said two other livestock attacks happened within a one mile radius.

"We ruled that it was one dog here," said Strickland.

She said it dug its way into the pen. She didn't hear a thing from her house 500 feet away. Hanover warned neighbors by reverse 911.

"Over the past 3 weeks there have been several livestock attacks," said the voice recording.

A regional biologist from the game department examined the paw prints.

"We ruled out coyote," said Chief Kevin Kilgore with Hanover Animal Control.

Kilgore believes it could be a family pet.

"We suspect that whoever may own the animals may be keeping them up because we're looking for them," said Kilgore.

In a desperate attempt to keep a predator from digging another hole, Strickland went ahead and placed wiring along the fenceline of the pen.

"I don't know how to more secure a facility except that owners that have dogs keep them confined or on a leash," said Strickland.

Strickland tells me she plans to take her concerns to the Hanover Board of Supervisors later this month. If you have information that could help solve this case, call animal control, you don't have to give your name.

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