Neighborhood dog problem

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by EvilTOJ, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. EvilTOJ

    EvilTOJ In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2009
    Portland OR
    I live in the city, and have a small group of chickens. My house is on a small plot, about 5000 square feet. The backyard is fenced on two sides, the third side is open. That's the neighbor's fence which they'll finish "any day now" but it's essentially open to the street.

    About a month ago I'd let the chickens out, and went inside. I normally put them back in the coop if I'm going to sleep a long time (I work graveyard shift) or if I'm going somewhere for a long time. I woke up to the next door neighbor knocking on the back door, saying a chicken was on his roof, and one of my chickens was dead. He said he saw a small black dog with a collar that attacking them, but that's all the information he knew. I rounded all the chickens up, but Patti was mortally wounded (not dead as the neighbor had said). She seemed OK at the time, but didn't survive the night.

    A few days ago it was a nice day, and I let the chickens out to scratch. I went to the store on a quick errand, but when I came back, a small collared black shorthair dog was standing in my backyard licking it's lips, black feathers on his face. I chased after him in a rage with a rake and he took off. I found he'd caught Tenders and shook her to death, just leaving the corpse. The other birds were up in the neighbor's tree, and would have none of this nonsense about coming down out of it. I had to get the ladder to get them down.

    Last night I was heading to work at 10:30 PM, and what did I see run out of my backyard away from the coop? That same little darn dog! I have the coop locked up at night, so the girls were safe.

    I have a problem. I need to get rid of this dog. It knows I have chickens, and apparently delights in killing them. I know it's owned by someone, but it's obviously not tied up at all. I don't know if I can capture the dog to send to the pound, much less find the owners to tell them to keep their dog tied up. I honestly just want to shoot it, but there's laws against using firearms inside city limits. If I were to finish the open side of the neighbor's fence, It'd cost me around $200 which I don't have.

    What should I do? I'm normally the biggest wuss when it comes to animals. When my cat was sick and had to be put to sleep I took it hard like it was a member of my family. I once cried over hitting a coyote with my car because it was a senseless death, but with this dog I want blood. It killed my babies, for no reason other than entertaining itself.
  2. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    couple of options here.. or maybe 3..

    don't let the birds out to free range, increase the size of their run, call animal control and get the police involved. If your fence line is open to the street then after this dog is done, it'll be another.
  3. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Boyd is right ...I wouldnt let them out until after the fence is finished...and maybe go around to neighbors asking who owns the little black dog?
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Remember that you are legally and morally in the right, assuming your chickens are legal. Don't do anything to give up the legal and moral high ground.

    Since you live in the city, talk to animal control. They may or may not help, but it is a good place to start. At least, you then have a complaint on record.

    Next, talk to your neighbors and see if you can find out who owns the dog or catch it and look at the collar. Sometimes you cn trace the owner by the license if it has one. Taking it to the pound is also a possibility. If you can find the owners, talk to them. How you approach them is up to you. I find that kindness usually works better than initiating hostilities and name calling to start with, but with some people that does not work.

    I'd have a restitution plan ready. You'll get a lot of different opinion on here about how much it should be. I favor finding out what a point of lay pullet costs in your area then doubling that for pain and aggravation. I do think you have to cause the dog owner pain in the pocketbook to get their attention. Some people say they have gotten a small claims court judge to accept the cost of a new chick, the cost of feed to raise it to laying age, and the cost of 6 montths worth of eggs. How you go about it is up to you, but if you decide from the get go that it looks like small claims court to get action, start high. A judge just might buy it.
  5. deb1

    deb1 Songster

    Jun 26, 2008
    Quote:Boyd is right. Sooner or latter it will be another dog and you will loose more chickens.

    I live in a county with no leash laws. I had toup a fence bit by bit to keep the stray dogs out of my yard.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  6. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    Does the dog have tags? If so, can you catch the dog to read them?

    If not, Animal Control can only help if they can catch the dog. They won't spend all day doing it either. Some units have silly red tape that says they won't pick up a dog that's already caught, while others are happy to have the help with "nusiance" pets. The only way to know is to call and ask. Ask them these questions... (if your chickens are legal)

    What is the leash law for where you live?

    What is the animal pick-up policy?

    How much is the fine to the dog owner?

    Is there a difference between 1 killed chicken or 5... 10...?

    Once armed with these answers, see if you can find the dog's owner. Explain nicely to them about the situation, and what will happen next time if the dog is loose again (explain all AC told you above). If they are not receptive, apologetic, or otherwise awful... make a silent vow to yourself about catching the dog and turning it over to AC. (or if there's silly red tape, release it just as the AC person gets out of their truck so that it's "loose" again.)

    Check out your local craigslist for 6ft dog kennel sections, or recycled chainlink, or post a wanted add for left-over stockade fencing. Look for deals to close off that section of yard... dog's have noses that work pretty well and they can smell chickens a good way off.

    City chicken owners have the added responsibility of more dangers in a smaller area... everything from day-time coons and fox and trouble making teenagers, all in close proximity when compared to country chickens. It's never a good idea to leave them free ranging unattended since it only takes 20 seconds for bad things to happen, whether it's a loose dog, rock-throwing kids, gaint tom cat on the prowl, whole family of coons, visiting hawk who spots loose chickens in a small yard with little cover. City chicken owners also have a smaller number of birds, when you have have 6 or so, the loss of one is great. Not like having 60 and losing 5 every now and then.
  7. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    Aug 24, 2009
    Quote:I agree with everyone else. Pen the chickens and call animal control about the dogs. One suggestion I would like to make is to only let them out in the pen when you are around to supervise. Stray dogs will rip through a good fence to get to them. You can train them to go into the building when its feeding time.
  8. kota1369

    kota1369 Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    Quote:Agreed............ Animal control needs to be called and they need to deal with the loose dog as it is dangerous for it to be loose, it is getting in trouble and the owners need to step up to the plate and be responcible. Animal control will also most likely mention that you need to secure your chickens from harm. Not having a fensed in yard or a secure coop and run needs to be taken care of. And, I understand finances are tight. You can get onto craigslist and/or freecycle and find cheap and occasionally free items to help you make a secure run. I am very sorry you have had to come home or witness things happening to your birds. Unfortuantely Boyd is right though............. this is only one dog. Until your yard and or run is secure you will continue to have problems and not just from this one individual.
    I hope you can find some items to help keep your feathered friends safer.

    the lady with 4 dogs and 4 city chickens
  9. Luvmybob

    Luvmybob Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    I just lost my whole flock to two dogs that I've never seen before, the night before last they killed and hid the chickens, came back last night ( only one ) and decided to eat one under my children's bedroom windows.

    I, however, can use a gun so that's going to solve my problem.

    NOW if I were you catch the dog first, chain it up, call animal control and let them take care of the dog.

    I tried to catch the dog that killed my flock, 9 total and wanted to do it the "nice" way but he wouldn't allow it so now I'll have to do it my way. I agree with the others, make sure you can fix your fence. The ONLY reason these dogs came into my yard was because my dogs were inside with me because of the cold.

    Good Luck and I'm sorry to hear about your chickens [​IMG]
  10. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Agree with the rest. There are a couple of more things though.

    1. Document everything including pictures of the dog and chickens if you can. Date, time, and descripition of the dog. Law enforcement of any kind loves documentation and if you have it you will be taken more seriously.

    2. When you contact Animal Services find out if they'll let you borrow a trap. This varies from place to place but is certainly worth asking about.

    3. An electric fence can be an inexpensive temporary solution. If you have any neighborhood by laws you'll want to check them first though. Also, if your neighbor has small children you may want to talk to them about it too in the intrest of maintaining a good relationship.

    I'm sorry for your loss and hope you'll be able to find the dogs owners and get your yard more secure soon.

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