Wildlife officials have shot and killed a large dog believed to be part of a pack roaming southwest Saginaw, authorities said.
Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials shot and killed the animal sometime before 9 a.m. Monday, then called Saginaw County Animal Control to collect its body.
“I’m not sure if it happened over the weekend or early this morning, but Animal Control got the call this morning at 9 a.m.,” Federspiel said Monday.
The tan, pit bull mix is believed to be one of several large dogs seen roaming in a pack near in the area of Stanley, Germania Platz and near Green Point Nature Center. The pack is estimated at five to 12 animals.
The neighborhood, where South Michigan meets West Michigan, was home to the Saginaw Malleable Iron Plant before the structure was razed in 2010.
The Sheriff’s Department Support Division, including aviation and three deputies plus Federspiel on horseback — known as the Sheriff’s Posse, combed the terrain of the nature center on Wednesday, June 2, in search of the pack.
Lloyd, 85, and Joy Cooper, 84, were on their way home when they noticed media in the parking lot of Green Point Nature Center.
The Coopers’ Labrador retriever mix named Toby was attacked and killed by the pack June 28, they said.
The Coopers were home when, on that Saturday two weeks ago, the pack attacked Toby, who was outside in the yard.
‘Didn’t deserve to die like that’
At their home, Joy Cooper wiped a tear from her eye as she looked at a photo of Toby.
“That is him in the winter on the deck thinking, ‘When is she going to let me in? It’s freezing out here’,” Cooper said.
“This is his yard,” she said. “It’s been his place for 12 years.”
Joy Cooper said she thought Toby was in the house until a neighbor came knocking with a rifle in his hand and asking about Toby. They found him fatally injured by the dog pack.
“I sat with him and tried to stop the blood but there were too many marks and wounds,” she said. “He couldn’t help his self. He sure didn’t deserve to die like that.”
Toby was first taken to Riverside Animal Clinic, but the Coopers were advised to take him to an animal hospital.
“On the way there, he woke up,” she said. “So he knows I was there with him. By the time we got to the hospital, he had died.”
The Coopers had Toby cremated and his remains sit in a wooden box on an end table in their home.
“If we’d known a pack was around, we would’ve kept him in the house,” she said.
The Coopers have lived in their home for 49 years and have had four dogs.
“We always had to put them down because of illness,” she said. “This is the first one we had taken from us.”