PRINEVILLE, Ore. - Three Great Pyrenees dogs were shot and killed last week near Walton Lake east of Prineville while they were on their owner's property. The shooting has left the owner stunned.
It all happened a week ago Monday, and so far, the Crook County Sheriff's Office isn't saying much about the case while the DA's office reviews the findings of their investigation.
Investigators say the people involved in the shooting have been identified and the sheriff's office has been in contact with the dog's owner.
"I was sitting inside and I got a call from the sheepherder way up in the Ochocos, 'Somebody shot our dogs,'" said Donald McCallum of Hay Creek Ranch in Madras, speaking on behalf of the dogs' owners, Gordon Clark.
The 52,000-square-foot Hay Creek Ranch is owned by Clark, who also owns a sheep allotment in the Ochoco National Forest.
Clark has several Great Pyrenees that act as protectors for the sheep.
"They will be training these little ones they have now," McCallum said. "In seven weeks, they put them in with the sheep. They live with the sheep, and they protect them -- very important."
But somebody shot three of Clark's dogs.
"How could it possbly be?" McCallum said. "I thought somebody was possibly putting me on. Nobody shoots these beautiful dogs. I was stunned."
Sheriff's deputies say Clark's two other dogs, also in the area, are still not accounted for.
"They are very expensive," McCallum said. "They run $2,500 for an adult."
While we don't know if the shooter or shooters were hunting, McCallum told NewsChannel 21 that hunters are around the area during this time of year, especially hunting for sage rats.
"Keep away from the bands of sheep," McCallum said. "There's no reason to be up around with the bands of sheep, at all. There's plenty of land here you can go up and get your elk and get your deer. Just keep away from our sheep."
The sheriff's office has filed a report with the DA, but no arrests or citations have been made at this time.