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Police a Bit Sheepish as Herd Goes Over the Hill : Roundup: Eluding authorities, more than 1,000 woolly wanderers go on an escapade in residential Porter Ranch. Finally, a good shepherd is called in, and his dogs corral the crowd.

June 05, 1993|MICHAEL CONNELLY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Under cover of darkness, they descended from the hills.

It was an unruly group--hundreds of them--following mob instincts as they moved seemingly without reason through the streets of Porter Ranch. The small band of police called to the scene could not contain the crowd; they had to call out the dogs.

Then, the intruders were as easy to control as sheep.

Because they were.

It took nearly two hours early Friday, but Los Angeles police, a shepherd and his three dogs finally moved the 1,000 or so sheep that had wandered into the residential streets back onto grazing land in the hills above Porter Ranch.

The sheep had apparently broken away from a larger herd, crossed several hills and a construction site and ended up in the vicinity of Corbin Avenue and Rinaldi Street.

"There were more than 1,000 sheep," SgtJ. Thompson said. "They had to get the shepherd and his dogs to round them up."

The roundup lasted until 3 a.m. Thompson said the Devonshire Division has had its share of livestock calls; mostly loose horses and such but never a thousand head of milling, baaing sheep. He said the shepherd, whose name was not available, reported that coyotes must have spooked the herd to cause them to head south over the hills to the city.

Still, a curious note: the Shepherd of the Hills Church recently opened at Corbin and Rinaldi.

"I guess it's kind of appropriate they came here," said Peggy Ransom, director of the church's school, the Little Shepherd's Learning Center.

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