A woman in Utah is being charged with almost 30 misdemeanors after her pet husky Nikita went on an alleged killing spree, leaving a trail of dead chickens, ducks and a goose in its wake.
Mackenzie Morton, from Tooele, was charged with 27 misdemeanors related to Nikita attacking and killing other animals and one count of an animal running at large, according to Fox-13 in Salt Lake City. The spree happened in the early morning hours of Memorial Day, police said.
At least two dozen animals were killed in a span of two hours.
One of Morton's neighbors, a man named Trip Kiss, runs a petting a zoo for children with disabilities. He told the TV station his motion sensors went off early in the morning. When he looked at his surveillance cameras, he saw a husky in and around his house, the yard and the driveway. What's more, the husky was selecting animals to capture.
"He was chewing our goose that was at the back end there, he dug out the rabbits in their enclosure," Kiss told Fox-13, pointing to his chicken coop area.
He saw the husky carrying animals away.
"Two rabbits, two ducks, five chickens, a turkey, a goose," Kiss said.
The goose was an especially hard loss, Kiss said, because it was specially trained to follow Kiss and his wife around at renaissance fairs.
When Kiss called police, Tooele Police Sergeant Jeremy Hansen said there were many more animals affected.
"A second lady from a couple houses down came and told the officers that 15 of her chickens had also been killed by the same animal," Hansen said.
It took a while but they caught the husky and brought the animal to a shelter.
Morton told police her dog disappeared from her boyfriend's house, near the Kiss' place.
She went looking for Nikita and found some dead chickens, but no dog. Morton aso said she didn't want to wake any neighbors up, so she simply cracked her door in the hopes that the dog would come back.
"I didn't think she was going to go on a killing spree," Morton told Fox-13. "I did not know that, at all."
She told police she intends to pay for the damages, which could be more than $1,350.
Nikita was placed on a 10-day quarantine and on Thursday, police said they have to hold an administrative hearing to decide what to do with the dog, according to a follow up story by Fox-13.
The dog could be determined to be one of three possibilities: not potentially dangerous, potentially dangerous, or dangerous. From there, authorities will figure out whether to return the dog, put it in a shelter or euthanize it.
Kiss, for his part, said he supports putting the dog into a shelter.
"I want the dog's life preserved," Kiss said. "I don't want it euthanized. I don't hold any ill intent to the dog."
He told Fox-13 that the Tooele community has rallied around him to help with his losses.
The mayor of a nearby town donated fencing from his own farm to help protect the Kiss property from now on. Kiss said Ridgeline Farms generously offered to replace all of the killed chickens. Other neighbors are offering other supplies and animals.
"With the outpouring of help," Kiss said, "it's definitely lifted our spirits a bit."