Neighbors Nuisance Dog

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tabmom2, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. tabmom2

    tabmom2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2011
    I am new to this forum but glad I found it. My husband and I have really gotten into keeping our chickens. I absolutely love them! I get great joy in having the eggs and taking care of them.

    I live in a state where there is a leash law, in the county there is a leash law too. I also live outside of city limits so there is no city ordinance on poulty keeping. This started when we noticed there was a dog that kept coming around, digging under the pen and we had several disapear. My husband and I both saw the dig digging and chasing around the pen. Then my husband went over there. The neighbor came over and we showed her where the dog was digging and asked her to keep her dog up before there was a problem. On a seperate occasion my husband talked to her boyfriend about keeping the dog up and out of our yard. She gave us money to replace the chicken and chicken wire and told us that she would keep her dog up and thanked us for not shooting the dog. She obviously knew that was a possibility. We also told her that we were going to set a live trap. That week, the trap was snapped, the food was gone in it and the gate was open,,,,, as if someone let the animal out... At that time she also told us that she was trying to get rid of the dog because it didnt listen to her. Trusting her, when we noticed that there were more hens that came up missing, we tried to give her the money back and she refused it and said as long as she could let her dog "run" my husband said as long as the chickens were up. I told her before she walked off that I wasnt comfortable with that because my concern was it would eventually get to our hens. So of course, one day my husband was out there with the hens in our yard and their dog was let out and it came over on our yard and was trying to kill one of the chickens. Her boyfriend let it out to run. So my husband shot it because it was trying to kill one of the hens. It had it in its mouth. It passed away. Now we get a nasty lawyer letter threatening to take us to court and sue us for vet bills, pay her attorney fees, and remove all of our chickens according to the restrictions. I didnt know that they were on the restrictions and just wondering how it can be an issue now, when she never adressed it before? She even gave us cash to replace one. Has anyone ever had legal issues like this? In the state where we live the intentional killing of an animal is justified when it threatens injury or death to a person or animal belonging to that person. I just dont see how because they are "against restrictions", that we werent even aware about to begin with makes it okay for her to break the leash law, let her dog run loose to come over and try to kill them, and then after being warned twice, the dog is shot, and dies, and the person thinks they can sue for damages? Has anyone been down this road before? Then to have a lawyer threaten me to remove my chickens, demand that I pay his fees, and her vet bills, cant be exactly legal. Irresponsible people need to keep their "pets" whom they love so much, out of harms way, and off of other peoples yards. I mean really, if it got hit by a car, would they sue the driver of the car. If it came and was trying attack my child and I shot it, would she sue? Funny considering the pet owner has a civil responsibility for damages that their "pet" whom they love so much, destroys.
    Any feedback is greatly appreciated and I can assure you this is exactly how the situation went down. If anyone has been down this road before, any advice is a blessing too!
     
  2. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Their dog was in violation of the leash laws and destroying your livestock. You killed the dog, so what vet bills could you possibly be held responsible for? As to restrictions on keeping poultry, if you are outside city limits there usually isn't an issue. They are just upset about the dog, but if they truly cared about it, they would tie, pen or fence it in. Good for you for protecting your chickens !
     
  3. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    In most areas, it is perfectly legal to shoot a dog who is trying to kill your livestock. Here's a good web site where you can research the laws in your own area. good luck.

    http://www.animallaw.com/
     
  4. tabmom2

    tabmom2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2011
    Thanks for the response. My husband and I are dog lovers. So it want exactly something that either of us enjoyed happening. I think that what they are going on is "the restrictions" to try to scare us into giving them some money. Prayerfull, this wont go as far as court because I really dont want the trouble. I just love my peaceful little life and enjoy watching my peeps run around the yard. I get a kick out of watching our rooster chase the hens. lol. The flock has been sniffling ever since and we are on our second bag of feed with antibiodics in it.

    Right now we are loooking into the different breeds we like. I like the white ones with the speckled black tail feathers. and the Welsummer breeds.
     
  5. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    You might want to check with that law firm to make sure they: a) actually exist and b) wrote the letter. We had a neighbor send us a letter from a fake lawfirm. *eye roll*
     
  6. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    They can't take you to court for violating the restrictions. Only the county or municipality can do that, and it's doubtful it will come to court anyway. If you are in violation of restrictions, you may have no choice but to get rid of the birds. I seriously doubt that you are restricted if you live in the country though. They could try to sue you for the dog, but I am sure as soon as you provide their lawyer with the law that backs you up, he will have to back down. If it does come down to it, animals (dogs) are considered personal property so you could only be held liable for the retail value of the dog. that's the amount they could expect to sell the dog for. don't stress too much about this. they are just tryng to bully you.
     
  7. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    To be able to get good advice and not opinions the state you are inquiring about needs to be known. Then someone in your state on this site surely can help you.
     
  8. tabmom2

    tabmom2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2011
    This person called one night, we ignored it, said he was with the so and so law firm. The second night he called and said that he was trying to get some details about the "Shooting", then the third night he said that he was her brother in law. No calls were ever answered. I felt it was best for my husband to totally ignore them. Then we got this ugly certified letter demanding all this stuff and a response within 10 days,,, today is day 10, or they would file a suit in the civil court.
     
  9. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Ah, so she's using a family member to bully you? Is the BIL listed as an attorney on the letterhead?
     
  10. tabmom2

    tabmom2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2011
    The dog was given to her. That takes care of that liability. No retail value there. lol. I am open to opinions cause surely I am not the only person that has hens that has had this problem. It's amazing that lawyers can be used to strongarm people into doing what they think will "scare" people out of court. Thanks carolinagirl58. I guess I needed that reassurance that someone else reads the same into it. Now if we can just get our babies to stop sniffling, we are in good shape. They have been sick since. I think it stressed them out bad.
     

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