I can't protect my animals????

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Qz Sioux, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Qz Sioux

    Qz Sioux New Member

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    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?
     
  2. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

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    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.
     

  3. funnyfarmtexas.com

    funnyfarmtexas.com New Member

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    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. :mad
     
  4. LSP Farm

    LSP Farm New Member

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    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.
     
  5. VictoriaK

    VictoriaK New Member

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    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!
     
  6. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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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
     
  7. smithurmonds

    smithurmonds New Member

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    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.
     
  8. todog

    todog New Member

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    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).
     
  9. KJFarm

    KJFarm Senior Member

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    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!
     
  10. Caprine Beings

    Caprine Beings New Member

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    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
     
  11. Goat Town

    Goat Town Member

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    Another agency you might contact is your state wildlife agency. I've talked to the game rangers several times about strays chasing my livestock. They have told me I have the right to shoot at fur bearing animals bothering my livestock during daylight hours and to kill after dark only if I find something actually killing livestock. It never hurts to talk to as many agencies as possible, to find out the laws, and act accordingly.
     
  12. swgoats

    swgoats New Member

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    That deputy was an idiot or maybe corrupt. Personally I think I would go with fencing. If you *have* to live next to people who are clearly uh, subpar, I would fence like Fort Knox. It isn't right or fair, but if they witness you killing their dog, I would be concerned about retaliation. The problem with electric down low is you have to keep the grass off it. I would think a few strands of barbed wire down low would be effective,with field fencing on the inside.
     
  13. Qz Sioux

    Qz Sioux New Member

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    Well, yes, I stayed calm as this is not the first time this has happened. I didn't know that we have an animal control...now. We didn't have one for many, many years. I had been told by the SO, back when, that if I could get pictures of their dogs vandalizing my livestock, that I could get 5 times the worth of the livestock. I knew I wouldn't see a dime because they don't work. They live off of disability, food stamps and medicaid. He also told me that I did have the right to defend my animals by shooting them. He even reported the same back to the neighbors. Now, 5 years later, it appears that the law changed (according to this deputy).

    At one time, I did shoot 6 of their dogs. It took time, but I did the triple S and got rid of the pack they had at the time. The gun I used was a borrowed .22 rifle with a scope. I need to buy me one, as the one I used was borrowed, and they don't live around here anymore.

    I will go get a copy of the laws, that was a good idea. I am now carrying my cell phone and/or camera with me at all times when I am outside. While a gun would be nice, the neighbors are within ear-shot and would hear me if I shot one of the dogs, unless there was a way I could hit the dog without the dog yelping.

    The officer advised that I take pictures and called the Animal Control officer anytime I found the dogs roaming. Of course he also advised me that I make sure ALL of my dogs AND cats were inside before he showed up. It just stinks that I can't really do much to protect my animals. I do have a LGD, she just isn't working. I adopted one a couple of years ago but he killed chickens and chased the goats, so that was a loss. I asked about Donkeys in another thread, and was advised on llamas, or donkeys, but the thing is, they won't always distinguish what dogs belong and which ones don't. I don't want MY dogs killed. I wouldn't mind investing in a Ridgeback, but I think it would take more than one, and unfortunately, I don't have thousands of dollars to spend on puppies.

    My neighbors hate me too Vicki. They also know how I feel about my goats and chickens, and they look at it like goats are goats, chickens are chickens and they both are fair game, no matter whose property they are on.

    Still mad about all of this. It just stinks!
     
  14. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    "While a gun would be nice, the neighbors are within ear-shot and would hear me if I shot one of the dogs, unless there was a way I could hit the dog without the dog yelping"......is that not the whole idea, in front of their children and/or grandchildren would be preferred. Then walk up to the fence with a shovel and ask if they want me to dig the hole or do they want to come get the dog and bury it. Yep, that is just how awful you have to act, then go in the house and cry :) What I found was if you can kill the pitbull, the rest of the dogs are not as brave, there seems to be one of the group who likes to harass other livestock, and I wouldn't give that breed one chance after chasing my child. We had that on our road, a family of 3 girls and a boy who were afraid of their own pits if they got off the chains, that is just disgusting but so typical in our area.
     
  15. Annie

    Annie New Member

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    After reading all the above posts, and totally agreeing with ALL the suggestions, I'd like to add one. It's disgusting and cruel but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Do you keep YOUR animals locked up at night? Set out a poisoned bait at night and hope their dogs get it. I HATE animal cruelty of any kind, but you must defend your livestock, pets, and CHILDREN.

    I live in eastern Ohio, and have mentioned before that our county animal control tells us to shoot/kill any dog that we feel threatened by/threatens our livestock. Three S law prevails. That said, I am a dog-lover, please don't think I hate dogs....our Jack Russell sleeps between our shoulders and when he's outside he stays INSIDE the fence :)

    Yep, pics, proof, lots of phone calls, be sure to keep the law informed and bug them constantly!
     
  16. Qz Sioux

    Qz Sioux New Member

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    Not to sound heartless, but I wouldn't be crying over shooting the dog. I'd be doing a happy dance dance: that I got it. I am not totally against pits either. I used to have one. She was one of the best dogs I've ever had. She stayed in the pasture with the pigs, horses (when I had em) and goats and chickens. NEVER did she offer to harm one of them. As a matter of fact, she wouldn't let anyone in the pasture if she didn't know them. She was a much better LGD than the one I have now. A friend of mine had one at the same time I did, and his was his goat guarder. His even guarded his kids from the time they got off the bus, or while waiting for the bus.

    Retaliation is something that I do worry about to a degree. My place is fenced, except in an area in the front where they brought in the mobile home after our other one burned down. Their dogs don't come in the front, they have a hole dug under the fence in the back. I have seen those "strangle" wires at the feed store that are used for coyotes. Once they are caught, the more they fight, the tighter it gets. When it gets to a certain point, you can't get anything under it to cut it off. I just don't want to risk one of my dogs "sniffing around" under the fence and getting caught.

    While I have thought about some hamburger mixed with some antifreeze as a nice "treat" for their dogs, I worry that if I spend too much time against that side of the property, they will think something is "up". I am with you Annie, I also hate animal cruelty. I feel they are cruel to their animals because obviously, they don't feed them enough or they wouldn't be dining on my chickens. We love dogs too and many that "run" the roads are no problem at all, but their dogs are a hazard. My dogs stay within our fence too, even the part that is down. The SO told me that even if they are within the fence, if they are running "loose" they are considered "at large"? How dumb is that?

    I have lived here for 20 years. I have had nothing but problems out of these neighbors since the day we moved out here. Trust me, if we could afford it, we would move without a second glance back.
     
  17. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Are their animals bothering anyone else locally, maybe with some help from some other neighbors?
     
  18. Qz Sioux

    Qz Sioux New Member

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    Oh yes they do! When I killed the dogs back when, the others were shot after they got into a neighbors pasture and killed all of his sheep and goats. He stood out there and just pegged each and every one of them before they could jump the fence.

    They didn't have any big dogs for several years, then this past year, they got the pit, and some other mongrels that are quite large. The kids were seen, by a neighbor, using another neighbors' dog to bait the pit. Needless to say, the pit and another of their dogs pulled the dog in half. They threw the dead dog across the street into the empty, overgrown property. My neighbor, whose dog was killed, found out about it, and found his dog. He took him home, crying, and buried him. This neighbor was at the house last night when the SO showed up. He told him all about it and backed my story up. He complained about the dogs as well as the owners.

    It is like these people can get away with anything and we all suffer from it because there seems to be nothing we can do.
     
  19. KJFarm

    KJFarm Senior Member

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    I would use any of the above options.......shoot to kill, poison, or you can always take them on a very long ride, and kill them elsewhere. If they have collars, take them off and burn them. You absolutely don't have to let these dogs attack you or your livestock.
     
  20. AlaynaMay

    AlaynaMay New Member

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    Wow, I didn't know that the laws were so messed up... Thankfully we have great neighbors, even though one has a pit and another a pit cross. The pit has killed a couple chickens, but they apologized profusely, and for us, our neighbors were worth a lot more than a chicken. (And the silly birds deserved it for ranging so far from the house... Now they stay locked up most of the time.) Oh, and the neighbor gave that dog a much-needed spanking to teach her to keep her teeth out of other folks property.