Neighbors dogs that kill your chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chicken saver, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. chicken saver

    chicken saver New Egg

    Mar 31, 2012
    What is the Maryland law regarding dogs that come onto your property and kill your chickens. We had 5 laying hens and the neighbors dog has dwindled them down to 1 left. Each time it happens they say they are going to do something about it but then a few days later the dog comes into the yard and gets another hen. The birds go out of the pen during the day to dust themselves and eat bugs etc. We should not have to worry about them being eaten by a dog that should be in it's own yard. How do you solve the problem without causing hard feelings. The hens were producing 5 to 7 eggs a day and now we are down to no eggs a day. This is not only upsetting us but costing us money too. It takes a few months to get a chicken to the size to lay eggs. Please advise me on this and what law protects us if we do something to the predator? Thank you
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    I do not know the law in your state, but if I were you, I would find your state statutes online and do a search for the relevant statutes. Most states allow shooting dogs that are attacking livestock. In some states the dogs must actively be attacking, in others there must be evidence that they DID attack (recently), in some they merely have to be on your land and possibly worrying your animals.

    Almost everywhere allowing dogs to roam at large (off ones own property, and not on a leash or otherwise well-controlled) is illegal.

    First, they owe you the worth of the birds. For a young laying hen, that can be $20 or more per bird. Send them a formal letter stating what you believe they owe you for your actual loss, as well as what they owe you for your emotional loss. State in no uncertain terms that you expect them to keep their animals contained on their property at all times, and that if you find them on your property again you will use whatever force is necessary and legal to control them. (Quite frankly, I would not bother telling them the limits of what is legal--let them figure that out on their own.)

    At the same time, I think you have an obligation to your animals to provide them with a safe home, and should erect a fence that will protect them from this dog, as well as any others or wild animals.
  3. ThatChick

    ThatChick Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2012
    New Jersey
    I would also call animal control, would have after losing the 2nd bird and each additional bird thereafter. Like Sonoran Silkies stated most areas have laws about animals at large and animal control is usually who would enforce those laws and issue citations.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  4. Makomd

    Makomd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2011
    ES of MD , USA
    Check you county laws. My county and I do believe MD, but not certain, requires any animal that kills livestock to be put down and compensate for the lost livestock. That said, my county is so underfunded, that they said all they could do was locate the owner and return the dogs.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  5. Makomd

    Makomd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2011
    ES of MD , USA
    Here ya go.

    § 11-505. When dog killing permitted
    Any person may kill any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing, attacking, wounding or killing any poultry or livestock, or attacking human beings whether or not such dog bears the proper license tag required by these provisions. There shall be no liability on such persons in damages or otherwise for such killing.
    (no history)

    I would still check your county too,

    11-508. Compensation for damages by dog
    (a)(1) The governing body of a county may provide by local law or ordinance for the compensation of any person whose sheep, poultry, or livestock is destroyed or injured by a dog.
    (2) A local law or ordinance enacted under this section may require the sheriff of the county, a county official, or other person to appraise the damages sustained by the person and report the findings to the county governing body.
    (b)(1) If the owner of the dog may not be determined, the county governing body may compensate the person in accordance with the appraisal out of a dog license fund established under § 11-507 of this subtitle or out of the general fund of the county.
    (2) A sworn report of the appraiser shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the fairness of the award of damages in each instance.
    (3) If the county governing body considers the amount of the appraisal unfair, the county governing body may compensate the person an amount that the county governing body considers fair.
    (c) If the owner of the dog doing the damage be known, it is the duty of the county governing body to notify the owner to kill the dog immediately. If the owner refuses or neglects to kill the dog upon notice, the owner shall be liable for the damages to the same extent as the owner would be liable in case of negligence or malicious destruction of property. The county governing body may have special officers kill the dog.
    (d) If a county governing body does not adopt a local law or ordinance under this section, the county is not required to compensate any person for sheep, poultry, or livestock destroyed or injured by a dog.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  6. judyc

    judyc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2009
    Lafayette, IN
    Can you catch the dog? If you've gone through all this, and the people still let their dog run free to kill your poultry, load the dog up and take it to the next county. Explain that it's a stray.

    In my county, they have to pay $20 the first time they come to get their dog. Each time they pick up the dog, the fine doubles.

    If I were me, the dog wouldn't go home. I would put out some raccoon surprise, and that would be the end of that problem.
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    First of all, I would not attempt to catch any dog that is not yours. Getting bitten is not something I would risk. If you have a gun and can shoot it when it's on your property and the law allows it, do it.

    You said:

    Quote: Why would you really care? They've caused hard feelings from you already. They have killed your pets with their irresponsibility and negligence. I realize it's common for neighbors to think they have to have good relations with neighbors. I never understand why, really, not in these cases. I wouldn't hesitate to drop the dog in its tracks and deliver the body to their doorstep, complete with a copy of the law printed out. Or, if you wish to give them one more chance, give them a copy of the law and tell them to keep the dog home if they want to ever see it again. Plus, they owe you $50 per laying hen-it costs for the hen itself, plus the money it took to raise it up to laying age in the first place.

    I'm so over this stuff. Our neighbors know we'll drop their dogs if they trespass on our property near the chickens; they've been warned more than once.
    1 person likes this.
  8. BunnyMomma

    BunnyMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2010
    Olin, North Carolina
    My neighbors know that their dogs belong on their property, because over the years some of my neighbors dogs met up with my 410. [​IMG] My chickens are a source of livelyhood for me and they are part of my family. I also have dogs and horses, which I keep on my property. In the past if I have a stray dog wander onto my property, I usually try to find out who it belongs to and I respectfully pay them a visit. I always ask them nicely to please keep their dogs at home, and explain to them as nicely as possible that I don't want to have to send them a bill for destruction of personal property. I also write the date on the calendar and document any conversations. That has helped me to keep the peace with most of my neighbors, and I really do not blame the dogs. But I would drop a dog in an instant for attacking my animals. [​IMG] That goes for skunks, coyotes, opossum, cats, etc.
    So far I have not had any incidents in the last 12 years.

  9. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Two things:
    1) send them a bill for the chickens, with the bill send a printout of the Maryland law about killing dogs that attack livestock and give them two weeks to pay.
    2) post a warning about shooting loose dogs

    If you don't get payment for your chickens within two weeks (most paydays are about that long), take them to small claims court.

    There's no point in being polite with folks who have bad dog manners.
  10. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I tihnk it is a bad idea to tell neighbors you can shoot their dog(by law),because if they cared in the first place the dog would not be roaming.It is one thing if a dog gets loose and kills all your birds,or they LET it out to roam and do whatever.You will know the neighbors character when they pay or not.If they are not offering to pay without being asked then the neighborliness was never really there.

    I like the idea of being able to call the police and AC to take care of things,but it seems like they don't more often than not.Then you are left in the spotlight should anything happen to the dog later on. Even if you are legally permitted to kill a dog I doubt many owners would happily accept it.You would probably end up creating a NFH situation that puts you and your property at risk.

    I just heard a neighbor calling for their roamer the other day.I have a 6 foot chainlink around my yard,but I know determined dogs will not let that stop them.Makes me nervous to think I might have to deal with this too!

    Best wishes and sorry for the loss! After the first incident and *promise* I would probably shoot the dog and remove the body from my property the body.SSS

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by