JACKSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife said two dogs were attacked by wolves in the North Park area in the past few days.

A working ranch canine was killed in the attack on March 13. The other pet dog was severely injured and was later euthanized due to its injuries, CPW said.

“CPW officers have recently investigated two depredation events, which occurred within four miles of each other in the North Park area,” CPW officer Travis Duncan told Steamboat Radio’s Shannon Lukens.

“Wildlife officers found wolf tracks in the vicinity and GPS collar data for both incidents that also indicated wolves were in the area during the time the dogs were attacked,” Duncan said.

CPW reminds those living in territories where wolves may be present to know what to do and how to keep their animals safe.

CPW’s Wolf Educational Resources page has more information on living with wolves. 

Owners devastated by losses, concerned about safety

Lukens said Greg Sykes is a foreman on a ranch in Jackson County and Cisco was his registered working dog.

“We are heartbroken about Cisco. We want the people of Colorado to know that if wolves are going to be in our backyard, we have to be able to defend our pets/livestock and children if warranted,” Donna, Greg Sykes’ wife, told FOX31.

Cisco, a working ranch dog, was killed in a wolf attack in North Park on March 13
Cisco, a working ranch dog, was killed in a wolf attack in North Park on March 13 (Photo credit: Donna Sykes)

The other pet canine, Blaze, was owned by Roy Gollobith, who told FOX31 he’s lived in North Park for 35 years and owned many dogs, but he never had to worry about wolves until recently.

“Some have been run over by vehicles or died of old age. They have stayed outside with a shop or some sort of building to protect them from weather,” Gollobith said. “Not until now have I had to worry about them and their safety from wolves.”

North Park wolves collared by CPW

A male wolf was recaptured two years after his initial capture and collared with a GPS tracker in early February. Another male wolf collared at the same time is presumably one of six pups, according to CPW.

One of the wolves’ collars fell off and wildlife officers recaptured it and recollared it on Feb. 23.

CPW said it has collared wolves known in Jackson County “that naturally migrated to the state and are not the result of wolf reintroduction efforts.”

State reimburses for wolf kills

One question sparked from these attacks and past wolf attacks in Jackson County and other parts of Colorado is what kind of compensation do the owners of these animals receive?

“CPW provides compensation for livestock guard and herding dogs. CPW cannot provide compensation for ‘pets.’ Payment for livestock guard or herding dogs is based on the actual value of the property at the time and place of loss. As written, the draft wolf compensation program would allow compensation for livestock guard or herding animals but not for ‘pets’ not used for these purposes,” Duncan told FOX31.

Duncan said the total compensation for wolf depredations paid to date is $12,929.75 for eight animals (mostly cattle).