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11:36 AM Wed, Oct. 17th

Dead cow raises big stink in rural subdivision; dog attack blamed

It was about a week ago that Bob Caporosso's brother began smelling something very unpleasant every time an easterly wind blew toward his home.

The unpleasant odor turned out to be a dead cow on federal land next to the small subdivision where Caporosso and his brother own homes north of Golden Valley off U.S.

Highway 93.

"It was an awful stench," Caporosso said.

"My brother couldn't leave the doors open in the evening, it was so bad."

The Caporossos realized that to remove the smell they would have to remove the cow - a feat easier said then done.

Caporosso said he began making calls last Friday to find the owner of the cow.

"Everyone I called told me to call someone else," he said.

"I didn't get any answers at all.

The first place I called was the Department of Agriculture."

Between Friday and Monday, said Caporosso, he also called Mohave County District 2 Supervisor Tom Stockwell's office, the Mohave County Health Department, the Bureau of Land Management, Sen.

John McCain's office and Gov.

Jane Hull's office in an effort to find the owner of the cow.

"On more that one occasion I was given another number to call, or transferred to another department," he said.

"Once I was told it was my responsibility to dispose of the cow, but I didn't think that was the case."

At one point Caporossa was given the name of a rancher, but the man did not own the cow, he said.

On Monday morning Roy Olson, an Arizona Department of Agriculture livestock inspector, called Caporosso to see whether he could help.

"By then the stench was getting pretty bad," Olson said.

"I had heard about another dead cow nearby, but that didn't bother me, because it was so far away."

Olson said he contacted Keith Curry, the rangeland management specialist at the Kingman office of the Bureau of Land Management.

"As soon as I was off the phone with Roy I called three ranchers to find out who the cow belonged to," Curry said.

"Within 30 minutes I had contacted the owner on his cell phone."

Caporosso said the rancher removed the cow Tuesday morning.

"He did not get the run-around from the BLM," Curry said.

"And ranchers respond pretty quickly to something like this."

The owner of the cow said as soon as he received the call about the cow he responded.

"Him (Caporosso) and I dragged it off," said the owner.

The rancher, who did not want his name published, said the cow was killed by dogs, and he reported the incident to Mohave County Animal Control.

"I think dogs are the biggest problem ranchers have," he said.

"It is not uncommon for dogs to kill a cow and her calf.

Domestic dogs that run loose at night have killed many cattle."

Curry confirmed that dogs killed the cow.

Caporosso said he knows of a neighbor who has five dogs, but he doesn't know whether the dogs are allowed to run loose.

State and federal statutes protect livestock on public land.

Caporosso's property is located near federal land administered by the BLM.

The open range law allows some ranchers to let their livestock roam on land leased from private landowners or from the government.

"The owner has a grazing allotment allowing his cattle to graze on BLM lands," Curry said.

However, drought conditions are making it harder for cattle to find food and water on the open range, Caporosso said.

The problem with dogs doesn't help the situation.

Olson said dogs killing cattle is one of the biggest problems in Arizona wherever there are rural subdivisions within rangeland.

"It is unfortunate, but it is very common.

Animal control is overloaded with calls on this," he said.

"Strays get together in packs and attack cows and calves.

They really tear them up."