Decatur livestock guardian dog that fought off coyotes wins Farm Bureau People’s Choice Pup award

Casper attempts to give his owner John Wierwille of Decatur a kiss at the LifeLine Animal Clinic on Dec. 1, 2022. (Zoe Seiler/Decaturish)

Decatur’s own Casper the livestock guardian dog won People’s Choice Pup in the Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest about a year after fighting off and killing several coyotes to protect five sheep.

Casper won the People’s Choice Pup award from the American Farm Bureau Federation. The Farm Bureau says more than 100,000 people voted online with Casper garnering the most votes. The trophy comes with a $1,000 cash prize, which is being donated to the Atlanta-based LifeLine Animal Project at the request of Casper’s owner John Wierwille, according to the Farm Bureau and Atlanta News First.

In November 2022 the Great Pyrenees took on the coyotes while protecting five sheep along with another dog, Daisy, at a property near Wierwille’s home. Casper suffered multiple significant injuries. He spent about 17 days at an emergency vet clinic and was at LifeLine Animal Project for about two weeks.

Casper, now about three years old, is fully healed and back with his sheep. Wierwille previously said that Casper and Daisy are both doing well.

“They are as stubborn and determined to do things their own way as ever, but they are also as brave and protective as ever,” Wierwille said.

Casper beat out four other dogs in the public vote for the award. Wierwille said that he knows four other great dogs are nominated as well, but he has never known another dog like Casper that goes looking for the problem and hunts it down until the problem is gone the way that his beloved dog does.

“When I get him to a job, I don’t have to walk him around the location or try to explain the problem, he just sniffs adults and goes to work,” Wierwille previously said. ” I just think he is an exceptionally brave and determined protector of livestock. He makes me a much better shepherd, and that is what livestock guardian dogs are supposed to do.”

This story was provided by WABE content partner Decaturish.