Two pet dogs ripped apart their chain-link pen and killed seven deer at a zoo on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The dogs' owner said yesterday he will have them put to death and pay the zoo for its loss.
The deer at the zoo in Salisbury, Md., were killed by the 4-year-old husky-German shepherd mix dogs, which broke into the exhibit and attacked the deer, some of which died after they had jumped an eight-foot fence in an attempt to escape.
Zoo workers found the carcasses when they arrived for work Wednesday morning, zoo director Don Bridgwater said.
"It's just a lamentable tragedy," Bridgwater said. "It's just a classic case of predatory behavior, classic destruction. These dogs still have the genetic instinct, and when you get a pack together, you get a self-feeding behavior."
The dogs' owner, Rob Lawrence, of Salisbury, said he was "dumbfounded, knowing my dogs. My 2-year-old daughter plays with them. They would lick you to death. They were happy-go-lucky dogs. . . . I guess their adrenaline got going, and once they got one of them down, they really went berserk."
Lawrence said he decided that the Wicomico County Humane Society shelter should put the dogs, named Pooh Bear and Gizmo, to death.