Sierra County cattle dog hit by motorist is recovering

Maggie the cattle dog, run over during a livestock drive in Sierra County, is getting better but probably still needs another week in the veterinary hospital.

Maggie, an 8-year-old border collie, was injured when an impatient driver in a Jeep veered into cattle being driven to summer pasture on June 19.

"She still needs another week or so of therapy so that the pin they put in her leg will work properly," said dog owner and cattleman John Reader.

Reader visits his best cattle dog in the Loomis Basin Veterinary Emergency Hospital where surgery was performed. Maggie suffered a broken back leg, and her spleen, liver and stomach were pushed into her chest cavity.

Her therapy is walking, said Reader, so that the femur where the metal pin was placed won't become like a peg leg.

"She still has some swelling that they want to keep icing," said Reader. "So there was a little more therapy than what I could give her here at the ranch. So she will either be coming home late this week or after the Fourth of July."

Maggie's vet bill was thousands of dollars. As of Tuesday, the vet bill is covered with what Reader has paid and with what dog lovers have donated. "It's been so overwhelming," he said. "I sure am thankful for the community's support."

Sierra County deputies arrested a 19-year-old suspect, Justin Philip Lombardobarton, late Friday. He was booked into Sierra County jail in Downieville on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, animal cruelty and vandalism of property.

Lombardobarton, of Camptonville in Yuba County, is accused of intentionally hitting the cattle dog and five cows during the drive in Pike City.

Officials say he also threatened to run into several riders on horseback.

The drive was the annual Reader Ranch move of cattle from Pike City to high country grazing lands.

In this year's drive, pilot vehicles were leading the herd of about 300 head.

Reader said the driver drove through the passing cows, instead of waiting with other drivers.

After that, he steered directly toward Maggie, who was on the shoulder at the time, Reader said.