Dog was a predator allowed to prowl

We are writing in response to “Why murder our puppy?” letter to the editor dated Sept. 27, 2007.

Why, indeed! Why should a dog be killed after almost two years of repeated requests to the owner to please keep her predatory dogs on her property?

An incident of May 31, 2006 of her dog finding its way through our 6 ft. fence that encompasses our yard, grabbing our 12 year-old pet peahen (as in Peacock-hen) Isaboe, who had sat on her nest until the six eggs were babies now peeping in the shells, ready to hatch. The dog, looking for fun, first found vulnerable Isaboe, devotedly sitting on her little ones, grabbed her and took her to three doors away where our neighbor saw the dog ripping feathers and flesh off our beautiful pet and chased the dog away. I found her badly injured, in shock, and by the time we got to the babies they were dead from cold and exposure. Not only were we broken hearted for the loss of these beautiful, elegant, intelligent birds, but we also needed the income from their sale.

We have raised turkeys, peafowl and chickens for 25 years and had excellent success. Our four proven breeding pairs produced approximately 240 eggs in two years, but because of predatory animals (the proof is dead babies, eggs and dog feces – not our dogs) we only have 14 live youngsters this year. Parents sitting on eggs that are terrified will abandon nests or trample eggs or babies because of predators. This year, day-old babies were selling for $12 each at the Grange. I sell my babies at two weeks of age so they are more likely to survive and have had time with their parents. We need the income and the meat!

The owner has repeatedly stated, “dogs and children should run free.” But it is very apparent that means her dogs and children. Everyone in the neighborhood is aware of her dogs by the large fecal messes in all our yards.

When last year she put a chain link fence around her approximately 2-acre yard, we were all hoping the dogs would at last be confined. NOT SO! In spite of all requests (including police) her gates stayed open and the dogs continued their rampages, frightening people and animals. So, why, indeed should the dogs be stopped, barking ferociously beneath our kitchen window, running frantically to our front gate, pushing (this 70 lb. 6 month-old was NOT a puppy) through two gates, yes, rather than experience another blood bath of our animals and their youngsters, we shot it ON OUR PROPERTY as the birds ran frantically to save their lives.

If these dogs are so important to this person, as ours are, maybe keeping them safe on their property by closing her gates would seem appropriate. She has repeatedly told the police that the dogs were young and untrained…?

In her letter she says we washed off the blood — yes, we were trying to spare the kids the sight of the dog. The letter also says that we would shoot a child? We have grown children of our own and I would never have thought to force a youngster to have to be responsible for an animal that pulled their pet rabbit off my lap to eat it (I’m in a motorized scooter as I have no hip sockets and can’t have surgery) and to make her help me try to save Isaboe’s life — a horrible thought for a child to think they’re responsible for her dog mutilating our pet.

Must we constantly live in fear that these dogs will find their way in again? We have done everything humanly possible to have our fences keep predators out and our animals inside our yard. How about training the dogs, dog-proofing gates and shutting them — keeping her animals in and others out (good fences make good neighbors) would be the neighborly thing to do. This so easily could have been prevented.

Linda and Fred VanDeBogart

Oroville

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