From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

Sheriff’s Office photo.

On Wednesday, March 2, 2016, Sheriff Mike Downey, Undersheriff William Honsal, and Captain Kym Thompson met with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Services and local ranchers to discuss livestock concerns. This meeting is a result of numerous incidents of livestock being attacked and killed by dogs in the rural areas of Humboldt County.

Property owners have the right to protect their livestock from attacks and by law can dispatch dogs that are chasing or in the act of killing or injuring livestock. The Sheriff’s Office has seen a spike in number of dog attacks against livestock. Dog owners may be charged with a criminal offense if it is discovered their dog was responsible for killing livestock.

The Sheriff’s Office will step up enforcement in these areas to make sure dogs are licensed and to make sure dogs cannot leave their respective property without complete control by their owners. If the dogs are not licensed, vaccinated, or they are deemed vicious, they will be impounded by Animal Control Officers and/or Livestock Deputies.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.