By Sharon Roznik • The Reporter
Bee experts are scratching their heads, trying to figure out why a swarm of insects -- bees, wasps or hornets -- stung a local dog to death and seriously injured another.
Fond du Lac Police Department Capt. Steve Klein said a 911 call came from the Schroeder residence at 540 Ledgewood Road about 1 p.m. Monday, May 17, for a report of a dog being attacked by what appeared to be thousands of stinging insects.
By the time an officer arrived, Grady, 7, an Australian cattle dog, was curled in a ball on the ground, covered in insects, said the dog's distraught owner, Joyce Schroeder. The other dog, 5-year-old Riley, had managed to slip out of his collar and escape. He was found hiding beneath a tree, and with medical treatment, survived the incident, but is still not doing well.
Local beekeeper and Fond du Lac Fire Dept. Lt. Todd Shippee said the seriousness of the incident prompted him to request that Fond du Lac County's Regional Hazmat Team be provided with bee suits.
He said the six suits have arrived, and dispatch has been notified to call the Fire Department, not police, if the situation should arise again.
"It's bad enough these people lost their pets, but it could have been a child or an elderly person that was in the area," he said.
Dan Schroeder, 21, said at the time of the attack the dogs were tied outside on a long running line.
"I heard Riley bark. I looked out the window and I saw hundreds of bees attacking the dogs," he said.
He frantically looked for a hose to spray the insects, but finding none, threw on a winter coat, hat and gloves and began dousing the dogs with pails of water. He had difficulty getting near enough to unhook the dogs from the tether because their collars and leashes were covered in insects.
"When I finally got Grady off the leash, even then they wouldn't leave him alone. By that time he couldn't walk," Dan said.
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