I need some advice regarding a neighbor's dog

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by backyardmenagerie, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. backyardmenagerie

    backyardmenagerie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It started 2 months ago. The neighbor's dog (an LGD, ironically enough) killed 2 very valuable, very important (to me, anyways) Dominique hens of mine. I went and talked with her, and she was incredibly apologetic, and promised it wouldn't happen again. I offered her a tie-out and chain that I had, and she said that she would just keep the dog inside (where it belongs, IMO). She seemed so sincere that I told her that as long as it didn't happen again, I wouldn't make her pay for the chickens. I know she's struggling financially and raising her grandchildren...
    Well, of course, the dog came back. It killed a pullet, 2 silkie chicks, and partially skinned a turkey. When I confronted her this time, she told me that her dog had been inside all day, and that there is a stray identical to her dog. She said another family down the road could attest to that, since the stray hung out by their house. Turns out, there's no stray. (I know, I should have known better than to trust her) [​IMG]
    The dog came back again. And again. Luckily, I've been able to chase it off before it killed more chickens, but nursing back tortured chickens is getting old. This morning the dog killed 3 chicks and a guinea. Enough is enough! I called the sheriff.
    Well, the sheriff said there is no criminal law against your dog getting loose and killing livestock, but I could pursue a civil case. Also, since I am in city limits (with a population of 150, so not exactly a city), I cannot fire a gun. Which I don't own, but if I did...
    And, to add insult to injury, the neighbor has now become threatening (says I was trespassing by knocking on her door to deliver the bill for the chickens I've lost), insists it was not her dog, and is making harassing phone calls. I've offered to take the dog to shelter, which she said was no problem, I was welcome to take it, but no shelters in my area are accepting dogs right now. [​IMG]
    Filing a civil case looks like it's going to be a little expensive, and I don't have a lot of evidence other than eye witnesses - and pictures of every chicken it has killed or maimed that it didn't carry off. The sheriff said if I could get a picture of it with a chicken in it's mouth, that would be best, but when a dog has one of my chickens, I go for the dog, not the camera.

    Anyways, my question is what is the best way to deal with this? Has anyone tried suing in civil court? Have you been successful? What would you do in this situation? I'm ready to go borrow a gun and be done with it, city ordinances be darn. [​IMG]


    Added 7/7:
    Thank you all for your advice. Regarding the fence issue, the reason I am so resistant to build a pen is because my property (all 4 acres) is already fully fenced, I have a Fort Knox chicken coop, and I have dogs that take care of all predators but other dogs (they're Golden Retrievers...they've never met a strange dog or person they didn't like :[​IMG] )
    Anyways, I talked with the mayor last night, and he said that he has been having a lot of problems with this family as well. The sheriff had said the same thing. While the sheriff can't legally do anything, the mayor said that if the dog trespasses on someone's property that is outside city limits, it's fair game. The mayor said he had several friends with guns outside city limits that had seen the dog before and he said "don't worry about it anymore." I haven't seen the dog today, so it sounds like I talked to the right person.
    I also talked with the landlord of the neighbor, who I am friends with and who has rescued a chicken of mine from their dog before. He agreed that the situation needed to end and told the neighbor that she was no longer allowed to keep dogs at her house - if she does, she will be evicted.
    So while it's not exactly the outcome I was hoping for - I would have liked the neighbor to have taken responsibility, one way or another, and paid for my chickens - at least the dog shouldn't be coming around anymore. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    It started 2 months ago. The neighbor's dog (an LGD, ironically enough) killed 2 very valuable, very important (to me, anyways) Dominique hens of mine. I went and talked with her, and she was incredibly apologetic, and promised it wouldn't happen again. I offered her a tie-out and chain that I had, and she said that she would just keep the dog inside (where it belongs, IMO).

    It may be a LGD BREED, but she's obviously raising it as a pet.

    Since she keeps insisting it is NOT her dog, she won't get upset when you SHOOT IT, which is the only way you will solve the problem short of fencing your entire property.

    Check your laws first and you'll probably find it's perfectly legal to kill an animal destroying your livestock.

    If you're inside city limits, the Sheriff has no jusridiction.

    You need to talk to the town's Police Cheif or Animal Control​
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  3. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Why don't you invest in some electric poultry fencing. If the neighbor's dog can get in other predators can too. The fencing woudl keep the chickens in and the dogs out.
     
  4. DebbieF

    DebbieF Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry for your loss. I have been having a similar problem but luckily none of my birds have been killed. There should be a dog catcher or make a "dog at large" complaint. As far as a civil case, if you win, you get your costs back. The level of evidence is lower for a civil case than a criminal case. Instead of "beyond a reasonable doubt" you only have to prove that it most likely happened. In your case, seeing the dog in your yard in the first place should be enough. I would catch the dog and call animal control.
     
  5. backyardmenagerie

    backyardmenagerie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:If I lived another 100 yards south, it would be no problem. But since I'm "in town", I cannot fire a gun without getting in a lot of trouble. Otherwise, I'd be posting about how wonderfully my chickens are doing, and that I never saw that dog again. [​IMG] Thanks, though. I'm still considering the SSS option.
     
  6. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm really sorry about all those birds both killed and ones who are healing, but first off...give your chickens a predator proof run. [​IMG] I'd use electric hot wire around the run/coop. If you free range, then put up a fence WITH hot wire. Keeps animals in (the birds) and out (predators and dogs) of your yard. Did you say she's allowing you to take the dog to the shelter? I'd definitely take that dog and try to find it a home far far away. To let it stay with her would just be [​IMG].

    Sounds like without hard evidence (a picture or video) you don't have much of a case.

    I'd work to find a home for that dog. That woman is clearly not deserving of having a dog.
     
  7. Whitney13

    Whitney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can't shoot the dog and the pound won't take it I don't think there is much you can do about the dog. You can take the owner to court but that only solves the financial problem. If he is really a LGD there are several rescue organizations that specialize in different LGD breeds and they may be able to help you find a place that will take the dog but if you go this route make sure you have written consent before you remove the dog because if you don't she could later say that you stole it.
     
  8. backyardmenagerie

    backyardmenagerie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To those suggesting a run or fence, it is something I'm considering as well... just not something I really want to do right now, since my property is already fully fenced with barbed wire and it's 4 acres. My chickens are as far from roads and other properties as possible. I'd hate to give up their freedom and bug patrol just because someone else cant keep their dog in their yard.
    And when I say neighbor, I mean 1/4 mile down the road. I may be "in town," but it's a very rural area. The electric netting may just be the way to go.
     
  9. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would attempt to trap the dog, then that would be strong supporting evidence that it was the culprit earlier. It can't be harmed once trapped (and has to be given food and water as long as it's held) but you would then be able to think about what to do next, e.g. take it to a shelter as a stray, or pursue a civil case, or whatever.

    regards
    Erica
     
  10. baldessariclan

    baldessariclan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not that I'm condoning this, but part of SSS might include taking the offending dog along on a drive to an area where shooting IS allowed... Risky, though, because doubt you can just shoot a dog when it's not actually in the act of destroying your livestock and on your property.

    Best bet is to come up w/ dog-proof enclosure for your birds, if possible. Also need to look more into your local animal control officers / laws -- see if they really aren't supposed to be addressing this issue as part of their job. Aren't they public servants and getting paid w/ your tax dollars? Hmmm...
     

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