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(b) Repealed: 2002, c. 17, Sched.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).