Please help! Seeking every legal avenue for vengeance after a slaughter (TX).

Imbri

Chirping
Jul 31, 2020
47
109
81
*hug* sorry to hear you've lost flock members as well :(

I put a note in the offending neighbor's mailbox informing them that the next time I see one if their dogs on my property, I'm going to put a bullet in its brain. Total bluff, but they don't know I don't have a gun. I made fliers with a picture of the dogs and a picture of Marshall's body (no gore but obviously broken neck) labeling them "flock killers" and asking people to text me if they can confirm that the threat is dead. If I don't get a response, then hopefully the idea of an active bounty will scare them into not letting the dogs out of their yard.

Meanwhile, we added two chickens to our flock which snowballed into 6 chicks when all was said and done, lol. Chickie girls!!! There's one adorable smoke gray one that's a straight run chick so we're crossing our fingers it turns out to be a rooster :D.
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Meet Ellie, MØ, Mariah, Penny, Pengin and Lunch!
 

PeepOverlord

Chirping
Mar 4, 2021
97
185
71
Texas Law
HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE
TITLE 10. HEALTH AND SAFETY OF ANIMALS
CHAPTER 822. REGULATION OF ANIMALS
SUBCHAPTER B. DOGS THAT ARE A DANGER TO ANIMALS

Sec. 822.012 DOGS PROHIBITED FROM RUNNING AT LARGE
--- CRIMINAL PENALTY
(a) The owner, keeper, or person in control of a dog that the owner, keeper, or person knows is accustomed to run, worry, or kill livestock, domestic animals, or fowls may not permit the dog or coyote to run at large.
(b) A person who violates this section commits a criminal offense. An offense under this subsection is punishable by a fine of not more than $100.
(c) Each time a dog or coyote runs at large in violation of this section constitutes a separate offense.

Sec. 822.013. DOGS THAT ATTACK ANIMALS

(a) A dog or coyote that is attacking, is about to attack, or has recently attacked livestock, domestic animals, or fowls may be killed by:
(1) any person witnessing the attack; or
(2) the attacked animal's owner or a person acting on behalf of the owner if the owner or person has knowledge of the attack.
(b) A person who kills a dog as provided by this section is not liable for damages to the owner, keeper, or person in control of the dog.

The blame for dogs getting shot lies with the dog's owner. The LAW says you have to keep your dogs on your property, at all times.
 

BrooksHatlen

Free Ranging
Jun 2, 2020
3,334
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Near Devil's Millhopper
That might not be a good idea.

In many areas, it is illegal "animal cruelty" to shoot a dog with a BB or pellet or paintball.

(Even if the law permits you to kill the dog, you might get in trouble for shooting it with something that is meant to chase if off without killing it.)
Yes, lethal force is exactly that. Lethal. You can't shoot to scare.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
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On the MN prairie.
A simple three strand polywire and charger set up can be relatively inexpensive, and it won't take them long to figure out that they don't want to come back to your house.
Also... try to get your hands on a game camera. Photo evidence of these dogs on your property after a warning counts as a "strike" and further action from animal control can be taken.
This would be your best option. It’s always on duty. You don’t have to be home to activate it, and those dogs (or any other predator) won’t come back after being zapped. It’s safer than having a gun on your property - especially if you’re not familiar with handling them.
 

KingB

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Premium Feather Member
Jun 19, 2020
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Two beautiful drakes (Freya and Marshall Mathers) and a gorgeous rooster (Mozzie) were violently and viciously slaughtered in our yard today. They were all just 10 months old and the ducks had come to us as hatchlings. Had my poor, traumatized Mother-in-law (who lives in a separate trailer on the same property) not happened to come home when she did, our three hens would've died too.

When she came home, she saw Freya and Mozzie dead and two dogs trapping Lil' Debbie in a corner behind our roses so they could kill her. It took FIVE fits of deliberately craxy-sounding screaming to chase the dogs off to the point they didn't try to come right back when the screaming stopped. Once they left, husband's mom knocked on our bedroom window to wake me up and I immediately shoo'd Torchic and Marcie Joy into the house before rescuing and comforting a truly petrified Debbie, who had flattened herself to the ground in the corner she got tree'd in.

These neighbors have allowed all of their dogs to free-range in our neighborhood for years... since long before we moved in behind husband's parents. Also, they do not spay or neuter. For example, the female murderer came back to the crime scene later with nearly-grown puppies in tow to move Mozzie's body.

Our poultry are not livestock, they are pets. Treasured family members who we'd love to have live inside with us if that wasn't so unfeasible. My husband and I both vastly prefer animals to kids - we're approaching 40 with no kids and a full menagerie of animal companions.

"Devastated" does not even begin to cover how I feel right now. I had no idea what a threat those stupid dogs were because they're fairly small and because long before our poultry was even born, the male murderer tunneled under the fence of our next door neighbor long ago - we always see him in their yard "visiting" the german shepherd that lives there and there's a couple dozen chickens that free-range on that property.

It is absolutely unacceptable (and illegal) to let dogs under your care strut around the neighborhood unleashed and unsupervised and brutally murdering other people's pets purely for, by all accounts, sport.

The forum-appropriate version of my mission statement is this:
I want to nail their butts to the wall in every possible way.

We're already pursuing the "county Animal Control" avenue. If I get my wish, all their dogs will be taken away. Hopefully all of their dogs not involved, including the murderers' puppies, can be rehabilitated and placed in loving and responsible homes.

It's not enough for me, though. Animal control seems like it's mostly about dealing with the animal situation and the dogs aren't actually the root of the problem here. I feel like animal control will take the dogs and the owners will get a fine and the next time I turn around they'll have gone out and gotten new dogs and the whole thing will happen all over again. I want to become these people's worst nightmare the way they neglectfully chose to become mine. My MIL said she thinks that it would be possible to file a civil suit against the nightmare neighbors, especially since 3-4 months ago, I spent around $800 I couldn't afford on vet bills fixing our ducks' bumblefoot issues.

We're super poor... but also only work part time and have zero social life outside of our pets and hanging out with husband's mom (who is equally outraged and traumatized by what happened). In other words, we've got the time to pursue EVERY avenue for revenge within the confines of the legal system. I want to go after them for every violation and illegal action I can come up with.

If any of you have ideas, bring 'em on! These people should never be allowed to have animals again.
My answer to the situation is this, make sure all your 'pets' are kept in suitable predator proof housing. They are just as likely to be killed by a fox or any other predators. We've all had loved pets killed before but I don't think that being agressive and arrogant to the neighbors is going to help.
If you knew that dogs were hanging around the area then the animals should really have all been securely locked up safely.
I'm not putting the blame on you at all, it's equally as bad of the dog owners to be letting their dogs roam the streets.
 

Blue Raptor

Crowing
Feb 20, 2021
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Wellsville, KS
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I am very sorry this has happened to you..
I had same thing happen except dog got every bird,, and damaged run..
That being said...

Chickens are pets, but ARE considered livestock, and fall under livestock law.

https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/health-and-safety-code/health-safety-sect-822-013.html
I agree. I know some people feel strongly about their chicken pets, and I love my chickens as pets too. But they are technically livestock. I am not sure how you should deal with the dogs. Go to the owners and tell them how aggravated you are, and if they don’t listen, you could go see if there is a law for keeping dogs confined. Hope the dogs get dealt with! :(
 

BrooksHatlen

Free Ranging
Jun 2, 2020
3,334
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Near Devil's Millhopper
I agree. I know some people feel strongly about their chicken pets, and I love my chickens as pets too. But they are technically livestock. I am not sure how you should deal with the dogs. Go to the owners and tell them how aggravated you are, and if they don’t listen, you could go see if there is a law for keeping dogs confined. Hope the dogs get dealt with! :(
Pet or livestock..,.still property.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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USA
I agree. I know some people feel strongly about their chicken pets, and I love my chickens as pets too. But they are technically livestock.

It's a funny thing, but the laws often protect livestock more strongly than they protect pets.

For example, in my area, a dog that kills livestock is supposed to be killed. A dog that kills a pet may be classed as a "dangerous dog" and given another chance.

So having chickens be "livestock" may mean MORE legal protection than if they were pets.
 

Imbri

Chirping
Jul 31, 2020
47
109
81
Yup, having pets that qualify as livestock gives you a LOT of leeway to defend them in Texas and even makes it ok for someone else to kill the dogs on my behalf now that they've been seen attacking livestock. If those dogs ever get loose in this neighborhood again, I doubt they'll be alive for long - there are multiple gun and chicken-owning neighbors watching for them now. Hopefully the offending neighbors heed my note and keep their dogs inside so it doesn't have to come to that.

I've gotten past the "anger" stage of grieving now and given up on being a thorn with a civil case... Six baby chickens and three 9-week-old kittens have given me something more enjoyable to do in my free time than seek revenge, lol.
 

Kiki

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Jul 31, 2015
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Yup, having pets that qualify as livestock gives you a LOT of leeway to defend them in Texas and even makes it ok for someone else to kill the dogs on my behalf now that they've been seen attacking livestock. If those dogs ever get loose in this neighborhood again, I doubt they'll be alive for long - there are multiple gun and chicken-owning neighbors watching for them now. Hopefully the offending neighbors heed my note and keep their dogs inside so it doesn't have to come to that.

I've gotten past the "anger" stage of grieving now and given up on being a thorn with a civil case... Six baby chickens and three 9-week-old kittens have given me something more enjoyable to do in my free time than seek revenge, lol.
Have you built a secure coop yet?
 

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