CHEYENNE, Wyo. | A pack of dogs attacked and killed a member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe on a reservation in central Wyoming, officials said Monday.
The announcement about the cause of death of 40-year-old Deanne Lynn Coando of Fort Washakie left some tribal officials shocked and skeptical.
"The tribes have ordinances and deal with dogs running around as any government does," said Kimberly Varilek, attorney general of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, which shares the roughly 2-million acre Wind River Indian Reservation with the Northern Arapaho Tribe.
"It's not really been an issue, we've not had a series of dog attacks or anything like that against people," Varilek said.
She said it was the first time anyone with her tribe had heard about such an attack and It was unclear where the dogs might have come from.
Mark Stratmoen, chief deputy Fremont County coroner, said Coando died at a Riverton hospital of hypothermia and loss of blood. He said she suffered serious injuries suffered in the attack on Wednesday by multiple dogs, and that no one witnessed the attack.
Officials urged the public to watch for any aggressive dogs and report problems to law enforcement.
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The investigation into the death of Coando was continuing. Stratmoen said he was not aware of any other fatal dog attacks in the area.
Varilek believes reservation residents were more surprised than worried.
"There may be some skepticism because it's so unheard of," Varilek said.
Sergio Maldonado, Sr., a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, said he had not heard of any issues on the reservation regarding packs of dogs threatening people.
"I don't mind sharing with you my observation that we have too many dogs on the reservation, probably cats, too," Maldonado said, adding that it's common to see dogs that are hungry and cold.
"It's not a problem safety wise for people and livestock," he said. "I haven't heard of anything like that."
He said vets offered free spaying and neutering services over the weekend and a number of people participated.