Sunday, April 5, 2009

Asshat Rant - Shooting the Neighbours Dog

I often hear about people shooting the neighbour's dog and I blogged about a civil case revolving around it earlier this week. Blogging about this case made me think about how often this happens in my neighbourhood.

I would like to state for the record that this happens here all the time. In my neighbourhood we see approximately one per year. I would assume it happens often in other places too.

If the dog is on property and harassing someone's livestock, than it is legal to kill it. Period. In Ontario, the police can't really do much about it if the person admits to shooting the dog and claims they were founded in doing so.

It is an unfortunate truth. Even a small sized dog can cause big problems on a farm. Whether it is a Mastiff or a Chihuahua, to a cow or sheep, the smell is the same - predator, carnivore, danger, run! When the livestock run, the dog thinks it's a great game and begins the chase. I've not met any dog whose instints don't kick in at that point regardless of their size/breed. When livestock run, they get hurt. Sometimes they run into things they wouldn't normally go near. Sometimes the dog catches them and kills or injures them. I've seen pregnant ewes throw their lambs months early thanks to being chased by dogs. The lamb always dies. Sometimes the ewe does too.

What do I think? I've seen what dog kills can do on a farm ... and let me say, it's not pretty. Dogs don't kill for food; dogs kill for fun or 'sport'. It is not a good way to die.

The provincial Livestock, Poultry and Honey Bee Protection Act reads:

s.2 Any person may kill a dog,

(a) that is found killing or injuring livestock or poultry;
(b) Repealed: 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table.;
(c) that is found straying at any time, and not underproper control, upon premises where livestock or poultry are habitually kept.

It is the dog owner's responsibility to keep your dog under control. Stop making excuses for your short comings. If you can't be bothered to manage your dog, then why do you have a dog?

I meet far too many people who move out to the country, then let their dog loose to wander all over hell's half acre. When their dog doesn't come home one day and they find out their neighbour shot it or it ate poisoned dog food in the neighbour's sheep field, they get angry and call the authorities. When the police get there and the farmer says the dog was in the fields, the police shake the man's hand, apologize for bothering him, thank him for his time and write off the case as a nuisance call.

Then the people who lost their dog are upset that the police didn't do their job? Uh ... Hello? Earth to Asshat? You, the owner, are the one at fault here. The police are doing their jobs whether you like it or not. Your dogs are illegally trespassing onto someone else's land and harassing the livestock (well, at least that's how it looks).


GoLightly said...

Yeah, I saw a mastiff/pit (huge) un-neutered male running in a field, on Hwy 27 at King Road.

No collar. Well-fed.

We had a neighbour to the north, that left poison out for raccoons.

He regularly poisoned his neighbours dogs. Nothing they could do about it. My husband's (very badly trained) GSD survived one of the poisonings. Old Sam was very lucky..

Nice, eh?

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Here, in dirtville, shooting dogs is common. It's one of the many things in this assbackwards community that dirves me crazy... I speak out against the practice and I get the eyeroll and "she'sfrombackeast" comment. Yup, even from law enforcement.

bichonpawz said...

This is just awful! I think it is just awful!!! Terrible. No one should be able to just shoot a dog ... it is just wrong. In my opinion.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

GoLightly - I wonder if that field was his home or his neighbour's?

Sounds like you have some crazy north-ward neighbours. Poison is not uncommon here either. Rat poison is the most common.

giantspeckledchihuahua - I know that feeling! Except the ones I get are ... "female" and "idealistic" (though most don't know the word, just the general meaning). You know, it took me 8 months going in every week before I could get the feed store guy to talk to me? I got only grunts from him. My husband, on the other hand, took two weeks and they were chatting up a storm like old buddies. ARGH.

bermudabluez - I think no one should feel the need to shoot a dog. I've seen some pretty gory things out in the sheep fields and chicken coops after dogs get in there. Like I said, a dog attack is nasty. It would be better for coyotes, 'coons, rats or fishers to be in there. Anything but dogs.

Honestly? I don't know what I would do if I had a dog going after my herd. Who do you choose between? Your own animals or the neighbour's dog? This is why I'm on the fence on this.

The last dog we had come around and bother our animals? We called canine control and took it back to its home the first time and then heard that it went after our neighbour's ducks too. The second time it came around, it killed 3/4 of our flock of ducks. We caught it with a duck in its mouth.

So, we took it away and sent it through breed rescue. Last I heard, he was living with a family with children in the city. A happy ending for him - he's not dead.

We didn't tell the neighbours what happened to their dog - the next time I saw the guy, he was half hanging out of his truck, driving (and swerving to miss my truck), trying to grab his other dog who made a break for it and was running up the road for all he was worth.

Thoughts said...

Wow, that is a scary concept. Shooting other people's dogs, hmmm. I have never even lived near a farm so I have no experience with this but I guess if it's a law... Im torn on this one. people should be responsible and not let their pets terrorize other people's animals but on the same token, shooting the dog??? that seems a little excessive.


DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Thoughts - yes, it can be excessive and I'm sure there are better ways to deal with it. This, however, is the way most farmers deal with it; it is the easiest way.

I'll use lambs as an example because they are often the ones farmers lose the most.

Think about losing 10 or more lambs ... worth as much as $200 each. The neighbour isn't going to pay for it - he doesn't have that much cash available. No one is going to pay ... Except the farmer who now knows that in the summer he can't pay all his bills because he just lost a few thousand dollars to a dog. If he's lucky, the township will give him a small fee, but it doesn't cover what he's lost. The town usually pays only around $40-50 for each lamb.

There is more at stake than the neighbour's dog. And that is what most people don't understand. I don't condone shooting the dog and we find ways to work around it at my home, but there are others who do. The best thing is to encourage people to train their dogs well.

mytwh said...

While shooting a dog makes me shudder (guns scare me!), I can see how dogs become a nuisance to the point that people do it. We recently moved to the "country" and have a small farm, just horses, a dog and cats that stay in, but my asshat neighbors have a stupid GS that they let run free. He comes over, picks through our trash i.e. makes a huge mess that we have to clean up (now hide our trashcans so he doesn't tip them over, rip the top off and pull the trash out), chashes our horses and terrorizes my families dogs when they come over. Now I love dogs, but if that damn dog comes over tackles me one more time I honestly don't know what I'm going to do. We've said stuff to the owners but it falls on deaf ears. Although I do have to say that I've noticed that they've started to keep him tied up more, so maybe not totally deaf ears...

Now I don't think this particular dogs behavior warrants shooting it at this time, but if it were to kill something of mine I would be beyond upset and would make quite a ruckus over it.

I have a question for all who can't imagine shooting a dog, what if a dog came on your property and attacked and killed your dog or even your child. How would you feel then? I personally would want that animal put down (and if a gun is available and it's a quick and painless death, then why not?). I don't think just because a dog is "only" killing chickens or ducks that that makes it all right. A life is a life and that dog may start with chickens and move up to other things, like other dogs or children. Just something to think about.

GoLightly said...

DDF, no sadly, I think he was dumped. He was in a field I know well. He looked lost. I called AC, but you know what that will do. I couldn't stop.

We get that a lot in the country. Dogs not deserving dumping.

Calsidyrose said...

Our County is largely rural with several clusters of fairly affluent suburbs. Country dog issues crop up all the time at our Shelter. One of the volunteers said that what he hates to hear after asking someone if their property is fenced is, "Nope, but I've got laaay-annnd." (Heavy East Texas accent added for emphasis). Unfenced "land" = dog picked up by Animal Control as "stray" or dead dog on the highway shoulder or a farmer's field.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

mytwh - You've made some good points there. Thanks for sharing. I agree that it shouldn't matter if the life lost is chicken, duck, sheep or horse. Doesn't matter to me what it is - if a dog comes along and kills something ... they always come back for more. I haven't met a dog yet that doesn't come back once it has blood in its mouth.

GoLightly - that's too bad. Good thing you called CC though. I hope it's in a township that will keep them for a few days ... maybe move them on to the OSPCA or Humane Society?

Calsidyrose - we have many people the same here. If they trained their dogs to stay on property, it wouldn't be that big of a problem, but you and I both know that most owners can't be bothered to train boundaries.