Dennis McCarthy with the eight dead sheep on his family’s Nikenbah property.
Dennis McCarthy with the eight dead sheep on his family’s Nikenbah property. Karleila Thomsen

Domestic dogs slaughter sheep

A PACK of domestic dogs with a taste for blood has been blamed for a spate of attacks on sheep on the outskirts of Hervey Bay.

For the second time in as many weeks, hobby farmers have reported the vicious deaths of sheep on their properties.

In the latest attack the McCarthy family, who live in Condor Drive at Sunshine Acres, lost eight sheep in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Their neighbour, Peter Schuback, who came over to the property to help remove the carcasses, said it was the fourth or fifth incident he had heard of in the area – and he says enough is enough.

Ty Parsons, who also came over from a neighbouring property to help, believed domestic dogs were involved because the sheep were not eaten.

The sheep were either dragged down and mauled or drowned in the dam on the property in an attempt to escape the dogs.

“Wild dogs hunt for food – these animals were killed for sport,” he said.

It took three years for John McCarthy to build his flock of sheep up to the point where he could feed his family from his own herd – and only one night for all his hard work to be destroyed.

Now, he says, if he sees a dog on his property it won’t be leaving alive.

Nikenbah’s Caldwell family last week woke to the shocking sight of the animals they had nurtured brutally slaughtered.

Norma-Jean Caldwell, who also lives on Condor Drive, lost about 10 sheep last week. It was a devastating loss for the family, who kept the sheep as pets.

Mr Schuback had to put down one of the McCarthys’ sheep and said the way the sheep had been killed was horrific.

“People need to start locking their dogs up,” he said.

Mr McCarthy said he was frustrated and angry, not only because of the death of his sheep but also because his children saw their bodies the next day.

“For my kids to witness that – it’s pretty bad,” he said.

Mr McCarthy said he would not keep sheep again.

“I can’t afford to do it again.”

Local Partners