A little background on my question. We have four chicks that have been out in their coop for the last three nights. On night one, our neighbor's dog began barking in the middle of the night, which he has never done before since we moved in. My heart jumped into my throat and I ran outside to see what was going on, but didn't see anything, but suspected a predator near the coop. Our coop is in our back yard, about five feet from this neighbor's back yard (fence between the two). Night two, nothing. Last night, dog barking again, middle of the night. I ran outside again and this time I saw Mr. opossum sitting on the fence right next to the coop. My protective instinct took over and I got my pellet gun and shot it a number of times (had a bad angle and was only able to shoot it from behind, so I couldn't get a clean kill. It went limp right up on top of the fence after about seven pellets and I thought I had killed it, but came out about 30 minutes later and it was gone (maybe it played dead). I sure expected it to run off after the first shot, but it didn't hardly move. Now, I know that many of you will have an issue with me shooting at the critter in a non-lethal way, because now its probably suffering. I feel bad about it too, but in the moment I was in protection mode and I can't exactly fire a .22 in my back yard. So this is the thing. I don't think an opossum has any chance of getting into the run or coop, and if the neighbors didn't have a hound dog, I probably would have never been the wiser. But since they do, I imagine these wake-up calls are going to happen with some regularity, unless they lock the dog inside. I'm wondering if I should actively try to eliminate predators (via trapping probably), or just let them be and hope that the dog will stop getting so excited? I know it would not be a long-term solution to trap. Last night I couldn't get back to sleep my heart was racing so much. Made me understand people who have PTSD. And even though its legal for us to have chickens, I don't want it to become an issue with the neighbors. As always, your experience, thoughts and advice are very much appreciated.