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Warrant: pair harbored ‘vicious’ dog believed to be killing livestock for fun in West Valley City

Posted at 12:21 PM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 23:50:58-04

WEST VALLEY CITY -- Police in West Valley City are trying to capture a feral dog they say has killed dozens of animals for fun, but after a warrant expired recently, the animal's whereabouts remain unknown.

West Valley City Animal Control says they also received a report from a passerby who said he saw a young boy fending off the dog.

“They were off their bike, holding the bike between them and the dog,” said David Moss, Director of West Valley Animal Services.

Moss hasn’t been able to verify that claim, but it is causing officers to search for the animal with even more urgency.

“Since it's turned up again, we are doubling our efforts. We are trying to catch it and get it off the streets,” Moss said.

Several of the animals killed by the dog were in the care of agricultural students at Roots Charter High School.

The school's animals were attacked in June and more recently in August, and the dog killed sheep, goats and an alpaca. As of the most recent attack, school officials said they didn't know if the dog is feral or someone's pet, but recently released documents shed light on the city's ongoing efforts to capture what they describe as a feral animal.

Police say the dog began attacking animals in the Chesterfield area of West Valley City in the summer of 2017. They describe the area as being between 2100 South and 3100 South from the Jordan River (1100 West) to Redwood Road.

While the exact details are unclear, police say the dog was ultimately left to fend for itself in that neighborhood. They say the Chesterfield area is deemed as "agricultural", and as such numerous residents in the area have livestock on their property.

Over the course of the last year the dog is suspected of killing more than 40 animals, including chickens, sheep, goats and a full-grown alpaca—which police say stood about 6-feet tall and weighed 100 pounds.

Police say video evidence shows the dog killing some of the animals, and they say the dog has grown increasingly feral and that the attacks have been happening more regularly of late.

A search warrant states the attacks "appear unprovoked and the male dog appears to be killing for fun, and is not killing for food and is not eating the animals it kills."

Lately, the animal has been known to stay at a home in the Chesterfield area, where police allege two "anti-West Valley City Police, anti-West Valley City Animal Control, and anti-West Valley City government" people have been harboring the animal.

Police say the pair have no legal ownership of the dog but have given it sanctuary in their yard and have helped the animal escape repeated efforts by animal control personnel and police to capture the dog.

In one case, police say the dog went into the pair's backyard while being pursued, but the couple shouted at those trying to capture the animal and ultimately lifted the rear of a chain link fence to let the animal escape.

When officers were able to confirm the dog was in a kennel at the property in question, they tried to get the pair to surrender the animal but said they declined, instead telling police they planned to take the dog to another state to avoid capture.

That proposed solution was not acceptable to authorities.

“We’ve been told by some people that are pro the dog, that don’t want us to catch it, that are anti-government, that they are going to catch it and take it out of state. We’d be happy if it was gone. We don’t want it to cause problems in another state, obviously,” Moss said.

Police obtained a search warrant for the property so they could capture the animal.

That warrant was executed last month, but police said the warrant has since expired and the dog was not observed at the property during the time the warrant was active. The current whereabouts of the animal are unknown.

As of the time of this report, it does not appear the pair accused of harboring the animal are facing any charges in connection with the incidents.

Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.