Working sheep dogs winding up at shelter
WYOMING – The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office is advising well-meaning animal lovers to please stop picking up stray dogs…unless you are sure they are abandoned. Officials in Sweetwater County have experienced a few cases of working sheep dogs being picked up and brought to area shelters.
Sheriff Mike Lowell said a male Great Pyrenees, a large breed favored by sheepherders, was recently picked up near Highway 370 (commonly known as the airport road) east of Rock Springs and brought to the City Animal Shelter in Rock Springs by a man who believed it had been abandoned.
The dog was not abandoned, it was actually “on the job” guarding sheep.
County Animal Control Officer Chris Thomas explained the situation. “People pick these dogs up and bring them in with the best of intentions, but once these dogs are removed from their working environment and brought into town, they quickly lose their herding skills and their owners usually don’t want them back. It creates a serious problem.”
Officials ask that people encountering large dogs in remote areas not pick them up or feed them, but note their location and notify the Sheriff’s Office. County animal control officers can then go to the scene, assess the situation, and take appropriate action.
City Animal Shelter personnel saw to it that the Great Pyrenees “Lou,” as they came to call him, got his shots and was neutered. ACO Thomas then worked to find him a new home in McKinnon, where he is settling in nicely.