BROCK – Reed and Janet Olsen had groomed a bull from birth to take over their herd east of Brock as they transition into retirement, but a pit bull attack on Saturday has left the animal struggling for life.
Janet Olsen said she is not angry at a man who asked to keep the male and female pair on the farm while he moved to another house, but said she feels it’s important to warn other cattle producers what the dogs can do.
Olsen: “It was teeth lacerations. His face is shredded. The jaw is gone, both sides of the jowls are ripped. He can’t keep feed in his mouth. He is drinking water, very painfully, so they didn’t get his tongue. It looks like most of the nose will slough off.”
He will die if his breathing does not improve and both of his ears are shredded.
The man washed the dogs off and left, telling Reed he was in a hurry to get going. Reed later saw blood on the fence posts of the pen and found the badly wounded bull.
Janet tried to piece together what triggered the attack.
The problem is there were two. When you have that one, they are always easy to get along with and they will play and they seem to be a better dog, but this was two. And, when one starts it, the other finishes it.”
Olsen said she and Reed are planning to retire and had worked for years to build the proper genetics into their herd. The polled Hereford bull, valued at $6,000, was expected to sire next spring’s calves.
“This particular bull is being groomed to take the herd over, so he’s a prized bull to us. He’s a registered bull with a good pedigree.”
The couple is following a veterinarian’s advice trying to save the bull’s life, but his health is deteriorating fast.
Reed said there are coyotes in the area which can be hunted without limit and without license in Nebraska, but typically will not attack a penned bovine. Reed said it’s because they hunt for food, rather than game, and they do not feel comfortable with their path of escape within a pipe fence.
He said he has also experienced an attack by a pack of five dogs on a cow before. In that case, the cow was wounded but her face was not torn off and she survived.
He said maybe a pit bull is more vicious than the other animals, but Janet said she has not lost trust in the breed of dog. She added, however, that now that the pair has tasted blood, it could be a child next time.
A report was filed with the Nemaha County Sheriff’s Office.