Dogs are such intelligent and protective animals, and we love hearing stories of dogs who heroically step up to defend other animals in need.
That was the case for Casper, a heroic Great Pyrenees herding dog who fought off a flock of 11 wild coyotes to protect his flock of sheep.
Now, this inspiring dog has won a major honor….
In November 2022, a pack of coyotes appeared at a home in Decatur, Georgia and went after the owner’s sheep, 11Alive reported. Homeowner John Wierwille said he was initially able to scare them off, but the coyotes came back later that night.
But thankfully, his livestock herding dog Casper, then 20 months old, was there and ready to defend the flock against the attacking coyotes.
After the coyotes got into the pen, Casper put up a fierce defense. The animals fought for 30 minutes, and Casper killed 8 coyotes. The remaining coyotes then fled and Casper took off after them, leading the owner to originally believe he died in the battle.
He later found Casper, alive but seriously wounded. Casper suffered serious injuries to his back and neck, and his tail had to be amputated.
“He looked like death, I mean he looked terrible,” John told 11Alive. “He came back home and he just kind of looked at me like ‘boss stop looking at how bad I look, just take care of me.’”
While vets and the family were initially unsure if Casper would survive, the brave dog thankfully pulled through. “He’s lucky to be alive,” said Dr. Susan Brosman of LifeLine Animal Project. “He’s a hero for sure,” she added.
“Farm Dog of the Year” honor
In the year since his life-threatening battle with the coyotes, Casper has made an incredible recovery.
“It’s really good to remember that Casper has come so far in the last year. Except for his missing tail, you would not know that he suffered any trauma at all,” John Wierwille wrote on social media.
Since the news broke, Casper’s story went viral online, with people around the world inspired by his selfless heroism.
And last month, Casper made headlines again when it was announced he was nominated for American Farm Bureau’s “Farm Dog of the Year: People’s Choice Pup” contest.
Wierwille asked people to vote for Casper, as the contest was held via a daily online vote. “We think he deserves that sort of recognition and all the treats and praise that go with it,” the he wrote on Facebook.
Now, in an inspiring update, Casper has officially won the “Farm Dog of the Year: Peoples Choice Pup” award!
According to a news release from the Farm Bureau, Casper won the award after receiving over 100,000 online votes. He will receive a trophy plate and Purina products, as well as a $1,000 prize, which at Wierwille’s request will be donated to LifeLine Animal Project, the nonprofit shelter clinic that saved Casper’s life.
“Thank you also to everyone who voted for our brave, determined, and goofy livestock protector,” the Wierwilles wrote on Facebook. “We are proud of Casper and glad he has a long life of doing what he loves ahead of him.”
While Casper won the “People’s Choice Pup,” the Farm Dog of the Year award — selected by a panel of judges — went to a 4-year-old mixed breed named Skippy, who assists his owners on their Georgia farm and played an especially important part when owner Donald Adams suffered a paralyzing spinal injury in 2019.
Casper is a true hero for going above and beyond to save his sheep, and we’re so glad he has won this incredible honor!
Please share this story and congratulate Casper!