Dog Attack

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mishi, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. mishi

    mishi New Egg

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    Nov 17, 2008
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    Usually, I just lurk here. Joined BYC to get info on Northern Fowl Mite (DE works wonders) and thought I'd let you know what happened a couple of days ago. Background: we had 20 red shavers (1 egg per day per bird [​IMG]) that we'd raised since they were 3 day old chicks last spring. My wife and 7 year old niece who visits often got quite attached to them. Built the chicken coop last summer (12 x 12, raised off the ground with chicken wire fencing under the floor and fencing tacked to the walls 4 ft up to deter predators). The run is attached to the coop and is about 40 x 50 ft. The fence around the run is approximately 7 ft high. There's plastic netting over top of the run to stop red-tailed hawks that hang around here.

    Some people moved into a newly built house next door last summer. They had a white bulldog/shepard/??? cross and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that "visited" our property once in a while. Walking around the run fence about a month ago, I noticed that something had been trying to dig under the fence. The same day, I buried heavy galvanized fencing 24 inches deep at an oblique angle all around the run and then went to the neighbor to ask him to please keep his dogs off our property. Neighbor is very understanding and says that he'll keep his dogs in their pen when he goes to work. A couple of days later the dogs are nosing around the run again. Chase them off and complain again to the neighbor that evening. He says that he doesn't understand how they got out of their pen but will look into it. This happened a couple of more times. Each time,he's very understanding and says that he will look into it.

    Two days ago, as I was leaving the house to pick up my wife from work, I glance at the run where the chickens are usually scurrying about and clucking happily and see feathers everywhere and some chickens lieing very still on the ground. I rush down to the chicken coop and see the neigbor's two dogs inside the run. The terrier is chasing one of the remaining chickens and the cross has one in it's mouth and is shaking it vigorously. Grab the first things that comes handy (a 6 ft length of 2x4 lumber) and charge into the run. The terrier sees me coming with murder on my mind and takes off but not before I get a couple of good whacks in. The cross has his back turned to me and doesn't see me coming at him. I hit him across the back - hard and he drops the bird and snarling turns toward me. Whack him again on the nose and he takes off like greased lightning. Turns out they managed to worm their way in via a tiny gap (that they widened) between the run and the coop.

    Shaking with anger I go to the neighbor's house. Nobody's home and that's probably just as well 'cause I'd likely be in jail for assault right now. Went back to my house and phoned Animal Control. Surprisingly, they show up only 1/2 hour later, take pictures of the carnage and take a statement. They came back that evening when the neighbor is home from work. He of course, denies that his sweet & loving, little pooches would ever do anything like that. But when the AC officer asks to see the dogs, the cross has a big gash across his nose and the normally friendly terrier is shaking in fear. The dogs have been declared dangerous animals and have been put down today.

    Lessons learned:

    Here in Canada, you're not allowed to just shoot the neighbor's pets - even if they are on your property (laws against discharging firearms in neighborhoods, etc.)

    - if dogs are hanging around your coop, don't just chase them off. Digital cameras are cheap these days. Take pictures to prove what's happening. Make the complaint to the dog's owner in writing and keep a paper trail. If after 3 complaints and still no results, call Animal Control with pictures and copies of letters.

    - have something handy for ID'ing visiting dogs. A paintgun to mark them when they're on the property would have come in handy. As it was, their wounds gave them away.

    - my wife & niece are devastated but no judge will allow punative damages or damages for emotional trauma where pets or farm animals are concerned. The neighbor offered to replace the birds, however, I will be billing him $2519 for the cost of raising 11 (now dead) birds and future production of eggs lost (11 x 300 eggs/year x 2 years production ... conservative estimate). People pay a bit more attention when a lot of money is involved.

    Mishi
     
  2. Master S.M.C

    Master S.M.C Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 23, 2009
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    That's harsh, you had to lose 11 birds you raised because of someones dog. I would have charged more.
     
  3. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I'm so sorry for your losses...
     
  4. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    St.Charles, QC
    Well done Mishi! [​IMG]
     
  5. KareyABohr

    KareyABohr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 14, 2009
    SE Iowa
    We had that SAME problem with dogs. But when DH spoke to the neighbor about his dog he told us to shot him! Yeah, just go a head and shoot him! Nice dog owner!

    They were messing with the other neighbors calves also 6 miles down the road so they were roving like wild animals. Well I guess the calf neighbor wasn't as much of an animal lover as we are and he DID shoot them. A week later the wife came up asking if we had seen her dogs? I honestly replyed that I had not, of course failing to mention that I had been told they had been shot down the road.

    She replyed that if I saw it to let her know because she wanted to bury it because it was a VERY important member of the family.

    YEAH right whatever!If they were so loved then why did you let them roam the countryside for weeks at a time?! Our dogs are family members and they were right where they belonged. Safe and sound on our property~!
     
  6. mishi

    mishi New Egg

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    Nov 17, 2008
    pacific north-west
    KareyABohr, it's not that the neighbor was a particularily irresponsible or poor dog owner or that he didn't care about his animals. He just didn't seem to understand the nature of his pets. We have a couple of dogs also (a border collie and a shepard cross) and they're the sweetest most playful animals that you'd ever want to see when they're with our family (pack) and I'm fairly sure that his dogs were the same way when he or his family were around. BUT dogs do have predatory instincts and there seems to be something about chickens that really brings those instincts out. I think he was truly surprised when he called his dogs upstairs and saw the wounds that I had inflicted.

    In other words, he did not take me seriously when I asked and asked him to please control his dogs. I estimate that 90% of dog owners try to be good owners but unfortunately some (not all) tend to anthromorphize their animals and therein lies the rub. He simply did not see the harm in his dogs running around loose because (he thought) they wouldn't do anything. Now, I've lost 11 chickens and he's lost 2 "family" members.

    Mishi
     
  7. swampwander

    swampwander Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Mims, Fl
    Generally, here in the states if you're in an area zoned for Ag, you can shoot any dogs/cats going after your livestock. Always check with your local Ag agent and animal control. Document your problems. It gets tricky when you're in a city, town or urbanized rural area.

    Our friends had a wolf mix go after their horse. They shot it. The owner tried to sue the friend. The judge not only threw out the case against the friend, but fined the wolf hybrid owner for the vet bills for the horse.
     
  8. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    In Idaho, I can shoot any dog that is harassing or killing my livestock (including poultry) and the owners are still liable for damages. People who allow their dogs to free range around me consider yourself warned.
     
  9. everyonesmomtwo

    everyonesmomtwo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2008
    I'm having the same problem right now, but only with the neighbors cat. I've lost 5 of my chickens, 3 of em the best egg layers the others chicks.
    Wasn't sure exactly if it was a bird or what but heard noise the other night in the coop and grabbed the flash light and ran out their and it was to late. This had been happening on a regular basis. Today I had be going out to the coop and run frequently as I had just introduced a new hen and darn if that cat wasn't just coming out the big door. She had gone in the chickens door and was coming out the peoples door behind harry (our new hen, our daughter named her). The cat didn't see me but I saw her. I went for her but wasn't fast enough. She took off running around the coop and jumped up on the wall and than ran the length and than over to her house. On the wooden wall by her house there was chicken feathers caught in it. Feathers from the chicken I had lost the day before. Their back yard was full of feathers. It won't do me any good to talk to this family as they don't care. Their children tease our dogs through the fence when they are outside and they don't know I'm there.
    I'm going to take a bat to the cat next time I see it. We have a leash law here and they are not containg their animal. I've lost 5 of my babies to it. Do you think I'm wrong in taking the cat out myself?
     
  10. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    not at al... there's a simple unwritten law in my house which my neighbours know one way or the other.....

    " The safety and well being of my animals in my property trumps those of your wandering predator" [​IMG]
     

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