FOX 5 Atlanta/Youtube
A Great Pyrenees dog is recovering after killing eight coyotes in Georgia when the animals threatened sheep on his farm.
At just 21 months old, the 85-pound dog's protective instincts kicked in last month, according to his owner.
"It was chaos," John Wierwille, 55, told The Washington Post about his dog, Casper. "It was not how we wished things had gone, but we're glad he made it. He was doing his job, and that's what I think everybody appreciates about him."
Casper suffered injuries to his tail and ears in the incident on November 6.
Wierwille recounted to the outlet that he witnessed Casper jump a fence and attack a pack of 11 coyotes, biting their heads and throwing their bodies over his shoulder. The owner is unsure if the animals attacked first or if Casper felt they were threatening his partner, Daisy, who was pregnant with eight puppies. During the incident, Wierwille's five other Great Pyrenees dogs herded the farm's sheep away from the chaos.
Wierwille, a pastor-turned-sheep herder, adopted the dogs after changing vocations about 12 years ago.
After encountering the coyotes, Casper disappeared for two days before reemerging from a chicken coop with tears and cuts to his body and a severely injured tail that ultimately had to be amputated.
FOX 5 Atlanta/Youtube
The breed, known as working dogs who can get as large as 160 pounds, are frequent fixtures on farms due to their ability to protect livestock. The dogs thrive on having "jobs" and can be fierce when provoked; an Atlanta-area Great Pyrenees rescue expert told the newspaper.
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The Great Pyrenees is also known for their gentle, family-friendly dispositions, according to the American Kennel Club.
When Wierwille initially brought Casper home, he said the dog immediately doted on the other animals there — even resting his head on the smallest sheep on the farm. But, when his family was threatened, Casper pounced. And, now, he has a stronger will to survive, his owner said.
"The vet had some pretty serious conversations with us about whether or not [treatment] was worth it for him," Wierwille said, adding: "But … [Casper's], not a normal dog. He's tough, and he's got a purpose, and he probably wants to get back to it."
According to FOX 5 Atlanta, Casper received over $15,000 worth of care to treat his injuries. The hefty medical bill was covered by animal lovers donating to a fundraiser for the dog. Casper's benefactors were so generous the dog ended up with excess funds; this money was donated to the animal hospital that cared for Casper. The funds will help other pet owners cover unexpected emergency vet bills.