Lost another chicken to dogs- some questions

Coralietg

Songster
9 Years
Apr 10, 2010
581
42
158
Opelousas, LA
I posted another thread a few weeks a go about losing 30+ young chickens to dogs. I didn't witness the attack, but we've had problems with neighbourhood dogs. I've been letting them out into the pen while I'm up and about, checking every few minutes. Today I sat down to dinner, I literally flew out of the chair when I realised I hadn't checked on them in a while. Check bedroom window, no chickens pecking around, I sprinted outside.

Two little brown dogs run out from behind the run, no chickens to be seen. They hightail it across the field. Thank God, it seems they had "only" got one small bantam that had got through the fencing. Found the rest hiding at the back.

I wanted to track the dogs down, partner forbid it. I could hear them barking. I'm still furious about that. The window has passed. I WANTED to find the owner.

Question, where do I find local laws regarding getting rid of dogs? They are coming across a field that is not our property. The edge of the chicken pen is on the edge of our property. If the dogs did get "dispatched", it wouldn't likely be happening on our property. I'm guessing that is a problem. I figure my partner is concerned about what would happen by letting them know, then the dogs disappear. I want to give a first warning.
 

redsoxs

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 17, 2011
25,643
2,074
463
North Central Kansas
It's a tough situation. I agree - you want to be civil and give a warning but that might start a war. Have you called your city hall or a local law enforcement officer and asked exactly what the law states? I'd go that route first. But if the dogs do venture on to your ground....
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,121
19,606
857
Southeast Louisiana
This is a tricky one from a legal aspect. Recently someone near here in Oklahoma killed two hunting dogs that came on his property. They had treed a coon and were not threatening him, his family, or his livestock. He had to pay a huge bail to get out of jail and may be liable for a lot of money. If they had been after his livestock or family, he could have legally shot them.

I don’t know if you are in the city or parish. I’d call whatever legal authority would come out to your property if there was a complaint and talk to them. At the same time, make a report of what happened so it’s on record. Any photos that show damage or even them on your property could be very valuable, though if it gets exciting here I grab my gun first and the camera second.

If you shoot one anywhere other than on your property you are probably legally at risk, maybe even of it has one of your chickens in its mouth.

That’s the legal side. Some people are likely to come on here and start ranting about what you should be able to do. “Should” has no legal standing. Reality does. I think you are wise to want to check that out before you do anything. At least know what your risks are.

Morally you want to work this out with the dog’s owners. Some people will pay for the dead chickens and do something about their dogs. I have neighbors that are responsible enough to act responsibly. A couple of my neighbors have already told me that if their dogs get in my chickens to shoot the dogs. They brought the subject up, not me. Some people will get belligerent and make all kinds of threats if you dare harm their dogs even if they are killing your chickens. Some will deny it is their dogs doing it even if you have photos. I have no idea how your neighbors would react and you probably don’t either.

Some people will tell you to S, S, and S. Shoot, Shovel, Shut UP. In some circumstances that can be a pretty good option. But for a lot of us, it’s just not practical. If one neighbor sees you, it’s not a secret anymore and some people tend to look if they hear gunshots when the sound of gunshots is unusual.

I don’t know what your best option is. If you are isolated enough, maybe SSS. If you have too many close neighbors to make that practical, maybe talk to the law. It’s a shame that you are put in this situation when you did nothing wrong. Just be careful not to lose the moral or legal high ground.
 

RJSchaefer

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 18, 2013
180
7
88
Rockford, IL
If they're killing or harassing your livestock, SSS. Call the county ASAP and ask if they have a livestock harassment ordinance. Most areas that have anything resembling a corn field do. We're an ag-heavy area, so ours is so lenient you can probably shoot a person threatening livestock and be in the right (legally, not morally, but to emphasize how broad it could be).

Double check, but the animal doesn't usually need to still be on your property. It's not like a thief where you're only allowed to pursue within your residence. You're dispatching a nuisance animal that is known to cause harm to your homestead.
 

Coralietg

Songster
9 Years
Apr 10, 2010
581
42
158
Opelousas, LA
Is it possible to catch a dog in a Hav-a-Hart trap, or are they too smart for it? Getting rid of one dog would solve the problem (with these two at least). They are small dogs, and I'm sure it's a kind of pack mentality kicking in. Our state laws seem to say that you can "contain" any dog not on it's OWNER'S property.

The property immediately behind and to the side of ours belongs to our back neighbour, who we are friendly with. I'm sure he would give permission for a trap to be put on his property.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,121
19,606
857
Southeast Louisiana
Yeah, you should be able to trap one of them. Not sure what you would use for bait, maybe sardines. I’d think something smelly to get their attention.

Have a plan figured out for what you will do with one if you catch it, plus don’t be too surprised if you catch something else like a raccoon.

Good luck with it.
 

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