EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – John Byland woke up on Valentine’s Day morning to a heartbreaking scene with all 17 of his sheep lying dead in his backyard.

Byland thinks they were killed by stray dogs, according to previous incidents he’s heard about from his neighbors.

He said that one of his neighbors lost 10 sheep to dogs.

“I haven’t had any problems until now,” he said.

He’s been living in San Elizario for the past five years and turned to ranching 6 months ago when he purchased his sheep, spending over $5,000.

It’s not just an emotional or a financial loss, but he also fears for safety of the area as his grandchildren come to visit and play outside often.

 “We’ve got Licon Dairy (here in San Elizario). Dogs are always getting in and getting into their animals and there’s nothing animal control or anyone’s doing about it,” he said.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 33.9 percent of sheep and lambs that are killed by predators are killed by dogs, while 46.9 percent are killed by coyotes.

However, he doesn’t blame the animals that did this; he blames irresponsible pet owners.

“Most of the fencing and stuff is not to keep the predators out but it’s to keep my animals in so that I’m controlling my animals, so they’re not running around, so everybody else ain’t controlling theirs,” Byland explained.

However, despite this dreadful day he is not thinking about giving up ranching.

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