An Oregon rancher was recently awarded $246,000 settlement from two hunters who shot and killed three of his Great Pyrenees guard dogs.
According to Capital Press (http://bit.ly/298EI0t) two brothers, one a retired Oregon State Police officer, had been convicted of animal abuse charges for fatally shooting three sheep guard dogs in the Ochoco National Forest in 2012.
The brothers, were reportedly hunting in the area at the time of the incident.
The jury ruled in rancher Gordon Clark’s favor for $7,500 replacement value for the dogs, and also $100,000 in non-economic damages for Clark’s emotional harm and $139,500 in punitive damages. The lawyer for Clark felt it was important to note that very seldom do juries award damages for animal loss outside of the value of the animal.
Clark has run sheep on a grazing allotment in the Ochoco National Forest for the last 20 years, and had signs posted in the area.
Guard dogs are raised from puppies to stay with the sheep and protect them and some ranchers have reported an estimated value around $3,000 of open-range sheep saved per dog per year from predators. Clark had stated the dogs that had been shot were friendly to people.
Source: Capital Press