The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

Sheepdog from Georgia awarded for heroic actions

People Magazine
The American Farm Bureau Federation recently awarded a Georgia sheepdog for heroic actions. In 2022, coyotes attacked Casper’s home and the dog defended the farm’s sheep, risking his life in the process. In 2024, Georgia residents voted for the canine to win the People’s Choice Pup of the Year.

During the winter of 2022, Casper the Decatur sheepdog risked his life defending his home. Though he spent 2023 recovering and returning to his daily rhythm, Georgia residents believed he deserved recognition, thus explaining Casper as the People’s Choice Pup.

Each year, the American Farm Bureau Federation hosts a Farm Dog of the Year contest to celebrate the ranch hand tykes and to support farmers. As various Georgia residents participated in the 2024 vote, Casper’s story spread throughout social media and multiple news websites.

Over a year ago on a day like any other, Casper’s owner John Wierwille witnessed his beloved dog jumping a fence. The farm owner watched as a pack of eleven coyotes approached Casper and the sheep, aiming to hunt down prey. Typically the farmer or his right-hand dog could drive unwanted, bloodthirsty animals away, but this particular pack seemed determined. With the coyote’s focus on Casper, the inevitable fight broke out.

The Great Pyrenees, ready to defend his home, sprung into action to face the pack. Wierwille recounts that the violent fight lasted for half an hour and continued around the farm’s property. Throughout the fight, Casper killed eight of the coyotes and eventually retreated into the woods, leaving only splotches of blood in his wake. Wierwille sent numerous messages to neighbors and posted pleas on social media asking for assistance in finding Casper. The search party ensued, but they did not find him.

Two days following the fight, however, Casper returned. Hiding behind the chicken coop, Wierwille noticed the canine’s face and welcomed his loyal dog back to safety. Though Casper’s life reassured his owner, the dog returned injured. Wierwille mentions that his loyal hound came back in rough shape and required medical help. 

“The vet had some pretty serious conversations with us about whether or not [treatment] was worth it for him. But … [Casper’s] not a normal dog. He’s tough, and he’s got a purpose, and he probably wants to get back to it,” Wierwille said.

Luckily, Lifeline Animal Project, an organization aiming to prevent animal euthanization, organized a GoFundMe for Casper. The mission raised over $15,000, allowing the dog to receive his surgery. The Wierwille family donated the leftover funds to another animal’s cause.

Since Casper’s recovery, a plethora of citizens have not forgotten his heroic actions. The voting for the 2024 winner obtained over 100,000 votes for Casper, resulting in his triumph as the current year’s People’s Choice Pup. From his achievement, the Farm Bureau awarded Casper with Purina products, a trophy and $1000, which Wierwille donated to the Lifeline project.

“It’s nice that he was nominated but since we don’t do a whole lot of social media, I didn’t expect him to win… There are lots of deserving dogs. It was an honor for him to just be nominated,” Wierwille said

All in all, Casper’s story teaches the bravery of canine friends and cautions citizens to protect them. Today in Georgia—where about 250,000 coyotes reside—NC students can learn of Casper’s dauntless act and can remember to take the appropriate steps to keep their adored dogs from harm.

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About the Contributor
Addie Hill
Addie Hill, Reporter
Since she was young, Addie Hill has always loved to write. From stories to poems to journaling, she’s always found a way to get her thoughts onto paper. Present-day Hill, a magnet junior, has joined The Chant to expand her writing abilities and shift her focus from fiction to journalistic pieces. When she’s not writing or interviewing, you can find Hill dancing, listening to music, crocheting a new project, reading a good book or hanging out at Church—one of her passions other than writing. She is a co-leader of NC’s Collective Hope Bible study club and an attendee of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Alongside these clubs, she is also a Beta Club officer and aspiring dance teacher.  Hill is super excited to pursue her first year at The Chant and can’t wait to get to reporting!

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