Llamas viciously attacked, community members outraged
JUNCTION CITY (WAOW)-- A brutal pit bull attack in Portage County has community members outraged and frustrated. The attack in Junction City left three llamas dead and the Portage County sheriff said it's the most shocking animal attack case he's ever seen.
"They're all basically related, and I raised every one of them," said Wayne Bushman of his five llamas. He told Newsline 9 the animals are family members.
"Every day I'd come out here in the morning and they'd be all over the fence waiting for me to feed them," he said.
The oldest of his pets was 20-years-old, but Sunday afternoon, his llamas were viciously attacked.
"Larry, that's the older one, she said his face is almost eaten off and there's two of them that are dead," he said of the phone call he got from his wife that afternoon.
"A passerby noticed the dogs attacking the llamas," said Portage County Sheriff John Charewicz. He believes two neighboring pit bulls got onto the property.
"I was shocked at the amount of damage. I was shocked at the amount of blood that was on the ground," said Charewicz, who saw pictures taken by a sheriff's deputy after the attack.
The sheriff said it was hard to find words to describe it. "This is such unfamiliar territory for us because we've never had an animal attack case of this brutality before as long as I can remember."
The sheriff said he is recommending criminal charges against the owners of the dogs because of the brutal nature of the attack. The Portage County district attorney told Newsline 9 he is looking into the incident, but did not want to comment further.
"Our policy, which we are looking at right now, is to refer all animal cases to the humane society. They're contracted with us to handle animal cases," said Sheriff Charewicz.
The dogs were held by the Humane Society of Portage County after the attack, but were released shortly after to their owners. But as of Wednesday afternoon, we learned that the dogs are again being held by the humane society. Officials there refused to comment.
Newsline 9 also tried contacting the dogs' owners, but they had nothing to say.
Bushman said his fear is that the dogs could be released and attack again. "If it were my grandsons out here, that would have CNN coverage and I wouldn't even be able to go here because it would be all yellow tagged off. And what's to prevent that down the road? That's the frustrating part to me," he said.
Photos were collected at the scene and shared with Newsline 9, but because of their graphic nature, we have not included them in this story.
No charges have been filed against the pit bulls' owners, but the police report has been forwarded to the Portage County district attorney's office.