Who Is Killing An Idaho Farmer’s Dogs?

Jun 3, 2016

Update, Friday - 12:09 p.m.: The Humane Society of the United States, the largest animal welfare organization in the nation, is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for lethally poisoning Casey Echevarria's 12 dogs.

Original post: It appears that someone is targeting a southwest Idaho farmer by killing his dogs. Casey Echevarria raises goats and sheep near Parma. In the last two months 14 of his highly trained stock dogs have been poisoned and 12 have died.

Veterinarian Brent Varriale examined some of them. Varriale says the dogs were killed by a strychnine-based rodent poison known commonly as gopher bait. He says it was mixed with raw, ground meat and present in huge amounts, as much as a pound in one of the dogs’ stomachs. Varriale believes someone is intentionally killing Echevarria’s dogs. Echevarria agrees.

“It’s far too significant of an amount of strychnine to be a deal like getting coyotes,” Echevarria says. “Besides that, they’ve been killed on my own private property that has fences around it. They’ve been killed in their pens.”

He says the thought that someone is coming near his home with such ill intent is scary. Echevarria says the dogs are a valuable part of his business and that each does the work of two men. But he also says they’re like members of his family.

“I mean they killed a nine-year-old dog that had been with me since he was a puppy,” Echevarria says. “He’d traveled thousands of miles with me.”  

Echevarria says he doesn’t know who would do this or why. He says the Canyon County Sheriff’s Department is investigating. This story was first reported by Capital Press.

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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