Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Wild Packs of Dogs Are Attacking Covelo Residents and Killing Livestock

Two feral dogs that wandered onto a Covelo porch [Picture provided by Rosento Cordova]

26-year-old Covelo resident Mario Montes is in the hospital after nine dogs converged on him and attacked him yesterday morning. As he walked along Tabor Lane to get some food from Aztec Grill, the dogs surrounded him and began to bite his legs. He had to punch three in the face. They finally scattered after he swung a bucket wildly. His legs are covered in lacerations and he is being dosed with antibiotics to avoid the infections that often come with animal bites.

Richard Molinari, the Director of Mendocino County’s Animal Care Services, said one of his Animal Protection Officers met with Montes at Howard Hospital yesterday, and “it appears there is no known suspect-dog owner.” Molinari said his office reached out to Round Valley Police Officers and was unable to speak with anyone.

He addressed the jurisdictional question saying, “Round Valley has an animal control ordinance that their Police Officers enforce.” 

Montes is the second victim of a dog attack in as many months. On January 19, 2023, a man was airlifted to Howard Hospital after one of the animal’s bit and damaged his hand.

Covelo has a wild dog problem and many community members do not feel safe. These dogs are reportedly roaming throughout Round Valley, some docile and others hostile, and despite these attacks, the problem persists. 

These dogs are not only attacking humans but livestock in the valley. Round Valley Indian Tribe Vice President Lewis Whipple told us he had lost four goats to a pack of dogs, but he could not say whether they were the same ones that attacked Montes. 

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Whipple said that many of the dogs are “left behind guard dogs from the severely, non-existent marijuana industry.” 

Many in the community have looked to Mendocino County, both law enforcement and animal control for solutions. Whipple explained the county has told tribal leaders “they have no jurisdiction on tribal lands. It’s been an ongoing dispute for years, basically, they wanted us to give up sovereign immunity in order for them to come onto tribal lands.”

With the increase in attacks and the community’s concern, Whipple told us the tribal government has “directed tribal police to find an officer dedicated to animal control, figure out a dog or animal shelter, get traps, etc.”

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  1. Stop getting random dogs to “gaurd” your grow.
    If mendocino county had gotten its shit together growing weed could be as undangerous as growing alcohol grapes. Now we’ve missed a chance to get our communities out of poverty and packs of abandoned dogs run free. If you think this is just a covelo thing you’re wrong.

    • The Mendo county agriculture dept has dropped the ball in regulating and licensing cannabis grows/growers. They had one job to do and fucked it up worse than Hogans goat!

      • The County Ag department has nothing to do with licensing and regulating Cannabis. They only had responsibility for a short period of time, years ago.

  2. Aluminum Bat usually will scare them away. Pound it on the asphalt or dirt. Or protect yourself with it. Lasso also would be great. Tie them up for the dog pound. Hopefully they run off and help the mountain lions round up deer, or eat berries with the bears. Dumb dogs are now up for euthanization. Glad that man dispersed them dogs with a bucket. Those are some nasty leg wounds. Hope he gets well and the dogs never return.

  3. Just add another issue to covelo, one that their own police won’t acknowledge or accept help. Wtf? Not returning calls from animal Control? Also you can b l ame marijuana and state all you want by
    Claiming these are abandoned guard dogs but we all know covelo has always had issues with people just letting their pets run loose and nothing them fixed or vaccinated.
    I feel sorry for those that abide by the law and have common decency for people and safety as well as the digs.
    Hope this man makes a fair recoveryta e Ntul99

  4. Its the white mans fault. If the natives still had land they wdnt pile garbage and wrecked vehicles.around where they live And neglect every aspect of life. For extreme drug and alcohol abuse. Beat / kill their women pollute the water with garbage Oh skuse me it is their land ?

      • Look up wild dog packs in California for an interesting read. Many articles including one from 1995 in LA. This is an old problem MADE WORSE by the illegal big grows. Siskyou County has it bad too. How can we have dispensaries on every corner but not see weed growing anywhere in ag land? No, it’s hidden up dirt roads on steep slopes guarded by dogs and taping into head waters. The Ag commission may not be in charge of regulating cannabis, but the point is they should be. Grape growers can’t take river water without a screen for fish, or hire migrant workers without providing shade and bathrooms, or have animal poop piled up around their crop. I want weed money to stay in the hands of the moms and pops too, but if we want our community as a whole to benefit there must be a better organization, where growers don’t need to feel like guard dogs are warranted. Plus it’s a machismo thing ; FYI, your big barking dog is annoying af.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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