The Yakima County facility, Campbell Farm, is a retreat center for church and business groups. “Our little herd was a family” and beloved by guests, the director said. The grisly deaths of 5 animals “just broke my heart.”
WAPATO, Yakima County — Normally a tranquil retreat center for church groups and businesses, Campbell Farm outside Wapato was anything but that Monday.
An overnight dog attack left three goats, a pig and a miniature horse dead and a donkey mauled.
“It was a bloodbath. Naomi, the goat, was the first one I saw and the top part of her nose and mouth were completely gone,” said farm director Carmanita Pimms. “I went around the corner and just saw blood smeared on the wall.”
The animals were a part of the farm’s petting zoo and were beloved by visitors who returned year after year, eager to see animals like Betty, the miniature horse who had been at the facility for 13 years, Pimms said.
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“Our little herd was a family,” Pimms said. “If they got out they would stay together, and you just had to put one back in (the pen) and they would all go. It just broke my heart.”
The grisly discovery was made by a maintenance worker, who called authorities around 7:30 a.m. Three dogs were still in the corral when Yakima County animal-control officer Randy Sutton and a second officer arrived and shot two of the dogs — a pit bull and a German shepherd — standard protocol when people or stock are threatened.
The dogs did not go down easily.
“(The pit bull) took the bullet and just kept running. It was scary,” Pimms said. “We didn’t know how he was going to react so we moved away and came in the building. It’s never a good situation when you have to kill any animal, but you also have to protect the well-being of others.”
Unlike the other two dogs, a border collie was not shot because it did not appear to be threatening the donkey, Pimms said.
Both dead dogs were checked for microchips and tags, but neither had any identifying information, Sutton said. The appeared to be well-fed and taken care of, Pimms said. There are no plans to search for a possible owner.
“We (lost) five animals … because someone didn’t want to care for their pets,” Pimms said. “We’re heartbroken, but just being able to bring awareness to this issue will be enough.”
Pimms said they will keep the surviving donkey in a front pen closer to the staff members’ houses until they feel it is safe to leave him in the pen again.