Llama euthanized, dogs put down too

The community of Tahsis lost a friend when Gerome the llama had to be euthanized due to injuries it received after being attacked by dogs. - Submitted
The community of Tahsis lost a friend when Gerome the llama had to be euthanized due to injuries it received after being attacked by dogs.
— image credit: Submitted

The lone llama of Tahsis is dead.

The male llama, affectionately known as Gerome, was euthanized after being attacked by a neighbour’s dogs which are also expected to be put down.

“We have received confirmation from the RCMP that the injured llama was euthanized in a humane manner,” said Lorie Chortyk, speaking on behalf of the B.C. SPCA. “It is our understanding that the two dogs responsible for the injuries are being surrendered by their owners for humane euthanasia as well.”

The eight-year-old llama was attacked by two pit bulls Sunday night and suffered a lacerated lower lip and damage to its left eye. Owner Corrine Dahling, a former village mayor, said there was little they could do and is disappointed it took so long for her pet to be euthanized.

“It took more than 24 hours to get assistance,” she said Wednesday during a phone interview. “This is not the first time dogs have done something like this here.”

According Dahling, local hunters weren’t going to euthanize the animal for fear of losing their hunting licences and guns, or being ticketed for discharging a firearm within village limits.

The RCMP wasn’t about to dispatch Gerome either, said Dahling, until she contacted the B.C. SPCA and they officially requested assistance from Mounties.

Dahling’s glad the dogs are gone, but she said the larger issue is people who let their dogs run unleashed in the remote West Coast community.

“I don’t want to make this a pit bull issue,” she said. “It’s not just pit bulls…it’s any dog. They get together and they’re a pack!”

Resident Jo-Anne Rottacker echoed the same view:

“There are far too many dogs that just run loose in this town,” she wrote, commenting on Wednesday’s story about the attack. “There is not one day of the week that I do not see at least five dogs just wandering around without their masters. If the dogs start packing, which is very possible, it will also put small children at risk. Pet owners really need to step it up a notch.”

The loss of Gerome has been difficult, said Dahling, who watched its birth. She used to have three llamas, but the other two died over the past few years and Gerome was the last.

“Llamas have a different type of disposition – they’re like little people,” she said. “Gerome was definitely part of this community. All the kids from the daycare came to learn about llamas…and the community gardeners wanted his dung. They made sure he was well-fed and well-cared for because he produced daily…and during the summers, tourists stopped by to see him…this is a loss to the community.”


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