DECATUR, Ga. - A Georgia sheepdog that risked his own life to protect his owner's flock from coyotes is up for a national honor, but he needs your help to win.
Casper the Great Pyrenees could be the People's Choice Pup in the Farm Bureau's 2024 Farm Dog of the Year contest.
FOX 5 first brought Casper's story to viewers in 2022, when the dog was recovering from his heroic actions.
Caper works on John Wierwiller's sheep farm in Decatur. On that day, he, Wierwiller, and the sheep were on a walk when a group of more than a half-dozen coyotes approached.
Normally, the wild animals could be shooed away, but this pack was persistent.
"I wasn't afraid they were going to attack me or anything, but they were focused on Casper," Wierwiller said.
Casper, a Decatur sheepdog, is recovering from a recent coyote attack. His owner said he heroically protected his flock.
But Casper was ready for a fight to protect the flock.
The fight lasted for half an hour and continued around the creek near the property.
After that, Casper disappeared, leaving only patches of blood. Wierwiller said he sent messages on social media asking for people to help find him.
Two days later, Casper returned home - his face popping out from the farm's chicken hutches.
"He was kinda looking at me like, ‘Boss, stop looking at how bad I look. Just take care of me,’" Wierwiller said.
Wierwiller said his loyal dog was in rough shape.
"It looked like a coyote grabbed his skin and peeled it right off," he said.
That's when LifeLine Animal Project stepped in to help. The organization has a mission to end the euthanasia of healthy animals in Atlanta by raising funds for treatment.
The group launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover Casper's $15,000 hospital bill. The campaign raised more than it needed, the rest went toward helping save an animal's life in the future.
Now Casper's heroism has led him to be nominated as a finalist for the Farm Bureau's Farm Dog of the Year. The winner of the People's Choice Pup category will receive bragging rights and a $1,000 prize from Purina.
"We think he deserves that sort of recognition and all the treats and praise that go with it," Wierwiller said on Facebook.
To help Casper win the title, you can vote for him here. You can place a vote once a day per IP address.
Voting ends on Dec. 20. The winner will be announced in January at the American Farm Bureau Convention.