Two brothers were indicted Friday by a Crook County grand jury on charges related to the killing in August of three Great Pyrenees sheep dogs in the Ochoco Mountains, according to the county Sheriff’s Office.
Paul Johnson, 66, of Roseburg, and Craig Johnson, 59, of Bend, told a sheriff’s deputy they killed the dogs “because they believed they were wild dogs," according to a sheriff’s news release Monday.
The two were indicted on three counts each of first-degree criminal mischief and first-degree animal abuse.
Hired hands working for flock owner Gordon Clark of Madras discovered the dogs’ bodies Aug. 27 on an Ochoco grazing allotment near the Walton Lake Snow Park off Forest Service Road 4210, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The animals were discovered close to one another with fatal gunshot wounds.
Deputy Bryan Bottoms, who responded to the call, recovered spent .223-cal. casings in the road along with other evidence, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Chapman.
Clark estimated the dogs were worth $7,500. They were sheep dogs placed to protect the flock, which at the time was grazing nearby, said county Undersheriff Jim Gautney. Two large herds were grazing on the allotment, according to Chapman’s news release.
The Johnson brothers, who were bowhunting at the time, told Bottoms they were “unfamiliar with the large sheep herds in the area," according to Chapman.
Bottoms seized a Ruger Mark II .223-cal. rifle believed to be the firearm used to kill the dogs, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Gautney said he expected the office would receive a warrant for the two men’s arrest.