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Old 10-11-2012, 05:07 AM   #1
Qz Sioux
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Default I can't protect my animals????

Today I had ANOTHER run in with my neighbors over their dogs. The pit bull keeps chasing my "adopted" son, killing (well already killed all) of my chickens, has chased my goats from one end of my property to another, and has come after ME when I tried to get it off of one of my chickens (in hopes of saving it). These people have TONS of dogs, they are not vaccinated, they run the road, and other peoples property, are very aggressive towards anyone that tries to walk down the road. I have tried umteen hundred times to get them to keep their dogs at home. They keep telling me that if I don't want their dogs to kill my chickens, then I need to keep my chickens in a cage so their dogs can't get to them when the come running in my yard!!!!

So, today, when all 7 of their dogs were running across my property after my adopted son, I picked up a baseball bat and started walking towards the pit. Now, mind you, the people were standing RIGHT there! Not one time did they try to call their dogs away. When I started swinging the bat at the pit (hoping I could knock it's head into next week), the grandson (about 16/17 yrs old) grabbed the dog by the collar, and then they BOTH came after me! He was trying to get the dog to bite me. So, I called the Sheriff.

Two hours later, a deputy shows up. I tell him "my" side of the story, he goes next door to hear "their" side of the story. When he comes back to talk to me, he tells me that they were warned to keep their dogs up, BUT if my dogs are loose in MY yard, I have no ground to stand on if their dogs are loose and come into my yard. I asked him if I could shoot the dogs if they were chasing, harassing, or killing any of my animals. He politely tells me NO. If I shoot one of their dogs, they can file charges against me for animal cruelty! The only way that I MIGHT get away with shooting one of their dogs, is if it has attacked me, and I am afraid for my life, but he also said that I still could get charged with animal cruelty, depending on how much damage he has done to me!

My GP guardian is broken, she doesn't want to ruffle any hackles, so what the heck am I supposed to do? I'm at my wits end here, and feel that these people have control, and if their dogs want to dine on my animals, it is going to be okay for them to do it!

I'm exasperated. Anyone have any ideas for me?



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Old 10-11-2012, 05:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: I can't protect my animals????

I would talk to the actual sheriff, not just a deputy, since this deputy is apparently full of $#!+. And call Animal Control. From what I could find, under Texas law, it is a defense to prosecution (under the non-livestock animal cruelty laws) if "the animal was discovered on the person's property in the act of or after injuring or killing the person's livestock animals or damaging the person's crops and that the person killed or injured the animal at the time of this discovery." So you could have legally shot the dogs when they were killing your chickens.



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Old 10-11-2012, 05:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: I can't protect my animals????

Suzie, i think you were misinformed about being able to shoot the dogs. i would make a trip down to the county pd or whoever has jurisdiction over your area. ask them to show you the statute regarding defending your self and property against predators. Also, most parts (i think all) of TX have leash laws. if something happens to your dog outside your own property, only you are responsible. My neighbor is the chief constable and she told me that if someone runs over my dog, it is my fault (even if they were speeding) because she wasn't on a leash. i think that if you start shooting (even in self defense) their dogs, they would only retaliate by killing your animals.

If it were me, I would make sure that i kept my animals on my property and start documenting with pictures their dogs encroaching on your property. After a few days, I would take these pictures with me to the office that has jurisdiction over your area. If that didn't work, I would visit the mayors office. Squeaky wheel gets the oil. But, be well informed of the local laws and have all your evidence in hand before you start squeaking. good luck girl, i know it is hard dealing with ppl who think they do not have to be accountable. i am afraid my crazy butt would have taken the bat to the dude trying to get the dog to bite me.

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Old 10-11-2012, 06:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: I can't protect my animals????

Call the media, no local S.O. likes to look incompetent in the public eye.. You probably got a Dy right at shift change who had other calls and didn't want to mess with it or Simply didn't know the laws..
Everytime the dogs set foot on your property take pictures and call the SO, you have to build a case.. They might be in your yard every day, but in the law's eyes it only counts when a report is made. The picture also serve as proof, a lot of times the Dy. has to catch the animal on your property to pick it up..
I would think about investing in two good donkeys if only for a short time to "fix" the dog problem.
Dog problems can start a neighbor war... Seen it happen to many times.




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Old 10-11-2012, 06:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: I can't protect my animals????

What a bummer!! Wow, it soulds like you kept your cool! For sure, be on the phone with the local police every single time there is a problem. Too bad there isn't a way to keep them off of your property,, electric fence, or??
I had the local sherriff tell me it was a felony to shoot the dog that was ripping my goat apart..after he went and checked the books, he had to retract his fancy ideas about "contacting the DA in the morning" what the heck else can ya do when your goat is being ripped to ribbons by some crazed dog??I think the law just plain don't know the laws, or they aren't aware of them. Not thier fault , Id hate to be in their boots!!
I like the donkey idea, those dogs need to learn who's runnin the show at your place!
We had a pit bull in our neighborhood that loved to stand guard outside my fence, not letting me leave my house, until I shot a couple rounds into the air, scared that tough dog all the way home! For him, that was all it took to keep him gone.
I sure hope youget this resolved soon!! Please keep us updated!

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Old 10-11-2012, 07:01 AM   #6
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You have a right to protect your livestock and your family. You do not have the right in Texas to shoot a dumb animal unless you or your livestock is in immediate danger. You should have taken photos of the dogs eating your chickens, you could have gotten 5 times the amount they are worth, with Texas livestock laws. We have state laws about this even if your local or county is lax in enforcing them. Go down to the court house and get a copy of Texas law from the city attorney, or go to your constable, ours is a gem, he has livestock so he loves helping out those who have problems with neighbor dogs. In fact our constable is the one who will go to the peoples house and explain this to them, and will take on your deputy, mostly because they are likely fishing buddies or related. And as sad as this makes me, to write this, being the liberal feminist I am, please don't be all hysterical and crying, in fact if you are one of them, send your husband or other male family member. Have everything written down, dates, times any proof you have. Do know in Texas even with a judgement you will never collect a dime, a judge can not make someone pay you a judgement you are owned. A judge can also not make them fence their property, and can't take their dogs unless you have proof it has bitten, chasing is not bitten. Welcome to Texas livestock laws, it protects their mongrels, as much as it protects our livestock.

This is never going to get better, you need to get a gun, get licensed and protect your home. No dog would be alive that went after my child or grandchild, with the neighbor watching or not. And yes my neighbors hate me, they know how I am about my goats, they know I keep dogs to kill their dogs with pit bulls and rotties on our road, we have the bigger meaner dog with our ridgebacks. Vicki

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Old 10-11-2012, 10:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: I can't protect my animals????

We had an issue with a pit mix roaming around the property. After a warning to the owner I quietly caught the dog while he was in my yard and kenneled him until Animal Control came and took him. I never saw him again so apparently his owners didn't care enough to spring him, just as they didn't care enough to neuter him or keep him from roaming.

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Old 10-11-2012, 11:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: I can't protect my animals????

so sorry for your trouble. not sure what texas laws are and more detailed your county laws. as a retired animal control officer in ohio, i can tell you, you would have the right to protect your livestock. but we always told the farmer to use the three S rule, shoot, shovel and shut up. however Nicki has the best idea and i actually use it on my place. if you can get the dog in a contained area or even borrow a large animal trap. and hold the dog till the AC can get there. getting a pitbull to let go of something it has caught is near impossible. i know i have had the misfortune to try it. the media can help too but fencing is usually the best answer (electric hot wire on the lower outside, dogs lead with their noses).

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Old 10-11-2012, 01:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: I can't protect my animals????

We have always lived in Texas, and have been told that we have every right to shoot dogs that come onto our property and threaten our livestock! We use the SSS rule!

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Old 10-11-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: I can't protect my animals????

Susie even here in WA we have the right to protect our livestock. We have full permission by the law to shoot any animal causing harm to our animals or ripping up our land. It really is a shame you have to deal with this. Sorry your neighbors are jackanapes (although I would rather use another word) but there ARE things you can do Ya just have to think outside the box.
Tam



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