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A DNA test of a sample of saliva from a mutilated calf killed April 17 in Waddy – the latest in a long string of animal maulings – has narrowed down the species of the killer to a dog.
“It is definitely a domestic dog,” Animal Control Supervisor Rusty Newton said.
However, Newton said the test was not sophisticated enough to identify a specific breed of dog.
“Wacko,” a pit bull that was cleared as a suspect in the mutilations and killings that took place in November, December and January, is no longer a suspect, and Newton said the investigation is continuing, although no further town meetings have been scheduled.
Newton said he wanted the community of Waddy to remain vigilant, as there is still the possibility of future attacks.
“This is not over,” he said.
Meanwhile, a former attorney-turned-sports radio host said he planned to check out the situation personally by camping out overnight on May 18 in the area of the attacks.
“We’ll probably see if we can find some place around Ditto Road,” said Matt Jones, who heads up Kentucky Sports Radio on the Web on a radio network, including WKJK-AM (1080) in Louisville.
Jones said four other people from his show plan to accompany him on the event in a two-fold effort to learn more about the maulings and to get feedback from the public about what they think about the situation.
“I think we’re going to invite listeners to stop by, not to camp out, but just to stop by and say hello,” he said. “That’s our plan as of now.”
History of attacks
The attacks began in late November and continued into December and early January, with all occurring in the vicinity of Hickory Hill in Waddy.
Wacko, had been confined at the Shelby County Animal Shelter in January as a suspect in the attacks after he was involved in an altercation with a small dog named Speckles. It was Newton’s plan of to keep Wacko confined, and see if the attacks would stop.
The attacks did stop, but that was not conclusive either, Newton said, and having no other grounds to hold the animal, released him back to his owner.
After the attack in April, which was similar to attacks in December, when faces and ears of livestock were mutilated, Newton said he was able to rule Wacko out as the perpetrator.
The incident is the first since Jan. 6, when a cow’s ears were ripped off.
Several animals were attacked, including goats and cattle. All were mauled about the face, most had their ears ripped off, and many died or had to be euthanized. All of the attacks occurred on animals that were confined in pens.
The attacks terrified many in the community of Waddy, with many residents even fearing for their lives, reasoning that any animal that would so viciously attack livestock might also attack humans.
There were also scattered reports of people in Waddy seeing a large black, hairy shape in the woods and a woman and her daughter told of being chased at night by something breathing heavily. The two could not identify the animal.
Officials called a town meeting in Waddy to try to determine just what they were dealing with, with the consensus being that the assailant was probably a vicious dog.
Citizens told to be alert
Now that that theory has been confirmed, people have a better idea of what to be on the lookout for, Newton said.
“We are continuing to investigate this, and we are advising everybody to keep their eyes open,” he said.
Jones said he intended to do just that when he camps out next weekend.
“We will have plenty of flashlights,” he said.