facebooktwitterRSS
- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -
 

« News Home

MARYLAND Woman mourns loss of ewes shot to death



Published: Sat, July 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The perpetrator could face a three-year prison sentence under the state's animal cruelty laws.

WASHINGTON POST

WASHINGTON -- There wasn't anything strange about the sound of gunshots outside Beverly Pearsall's sheep farm in Thurmont, Md.; plenty of her neighbors shoot at targets, practicing for hunting season.

Nor was it unusual to hear a vehicle driving too fast that afternoon along the two-lane road outside the property next to Owens Creek.

But there was nothing normal about the sight of the 3-year-old ewe lying motionless in the pasture, shot through the neck.

Pearsall's white-faced Texel sheep was dead. Minutes later, she would discover that another ewe had been badly wounded in the nose. Beyond hope, the ewe would later be destroyed on a veterinarian's advice.

As Frederick County animal control authorities search for suspects in the July 8 shootings, Pearsall, 64, mourned the loss to her 10-year-old flock at her farm. These are animals she watched being born, at early hours of the morning, she said. They were creatures she has brought up with her husband, protecting them from sickness.

Other incidents

The shootings mark the third such episode in Frederick County recently. Three Holstein cows were killed in two incidents last year, and in March someone kidnapped an alpaca in Middletown. Police in Montgomery County are also looking for suspects in the abduction and killing of a pet sheep in Brookeville.

Harold Domer, Frederick County's animal control director and a former police officer, said the shooting was being investigated "to the fullest." If the culprit is caught, he or she faces up to three years in prison under Maryland's animal cruelty laws.

"It's been verified that people that commit acts like this against an animal could commit them against humans," Domer said in a telephone interview. "Who could harm a defenseless, harmless animal?"

Pearsall, a native Oklahoman who moved to Frederick County in 1977, walked recently to the three-acre pasture where her flock of 32 ewes had been grazing when the shooting occurred. A metal pole capped with a red mesh wrap marks where one of the ewes, known as 14C, died. It is a puddle of mud and thick, dark sheep's blood, in which one can make out a pair of hoof prints. A smaller stick in the ground a few feet away, next to a thinner patch of blood, marks where a yearling, 67P4, stood in her last moments.

"I put a lot of hard work -- blood, sweat and tears -- into this," Pearsall said as she stood by the markers. "It makes you sad, but you have to go on because this is a business."

Not that her business is unscathed. Breeding animals cost thousands of dollars, and the price of the lost genetic stock -- the two ewes could have continued producing lambs for a combined 15 years -- cannot be calculated.

Since the shooting, Pearsall has moved her flock to a pasture farther from the road.




Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.


News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Marketplace
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2014 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes | Pittsburgh International Airport