Mar 302011

From out of Britainland:

Farmer’s warning to shoot the next dog who attacks her sheep

Short form: a neighbors dog chased around after a bunch of sheep, causing a sheep to collapse. The farmer threatens to shoot the next dog that gets onto her turf and chases her sheep. Police are called, it gets press.


About a year ago. my neighbor to the west (who raises sheep) shot the dog of my neighbor to the east, because the dog was chasing after the sheep. The police were called. I talked to ’em, largely cuz I was stuck between two antagonistic naeighbors (yay, fun). The police response? “Keep you dog under control.” Around here, the law is quite clear: the owner of livestock is well within his rights to plug *any* critter that is pestering the livestock. And while I can see how it can cause all kinds of trouble, I can also see how it makes all kinds of sense. Sheep are just about the *dumbest* mammals on the planet; being chased by the most playful, least ill-intentioned little fishbait dog will cause sheep to freak out, panic, stampede, spontaneously abort, have heart attacks and die. They are just not well-engineered. But they *are* the farmers property and livelihood.

Fortunately, cats are ignored by the sheep and welcomed by the farmers. While dogs might chase after sheep just for giggles, cats don’t stoop to such childish behavior… but the do help keep rats and mice from gnawing on the sheep-chow. Many’s the time I’ve seen cats nonchalantly strutting among the herd of sheep, ignoring and being ignored by the sheep.

 Posted by at 7:13 pm
  • Jim

    I’d have trouble shooting a dog I knew was someone’s pet, but at the end of the day the livestock would be higher on my list of interests than a pet that should have been under control and wasn’t.


  • Pat Flannery

    I remember the first time I looked at a live sheep’s head close up; it looked like it had the braincase size you would expect of a salamander, rather than a mammal.
    You wouldn’t expect a grazing herbivore to be terribly bright, but even by that standard, the thing looks stupid.
    A cow could probably outwit it, and a squirrel could take it to the cleaners.
    Yeah, the dog was interfering with your neighbor’s livelihood, and it was his responsibility to keep it off of your neighbor’s land.

  • John Nowak

    I’m flabbergasted that this is news. My father once had to use .22 birdshot on a neighbor’s dog; we never heard back from the neighbors or saw the dog again.

    Yeah, nobody wants to shoot a pet, but the dog learned before he did any real damage.

  • I had to warn a neighbor about his dog before. His pit bull got out and trapped me in my garage. I told the neighbor that if it happened again I would shoot the dog. If some thing had not distracted it and caused it to go away, I would have needed to use a chainsaw to fight my way out.
    People need to realize that their dogs are not just family members, they are also dangerous predators that can cause to other people and their property.

  • Michael Holt

    A friend of mine was the target of anger when it was discovered that her dog was killing chickens. The chickens were getting out of their pen. The loose chicken would then confront my friend’s dog. It was usually a short confrontation. The police were called. The official word is that as long as the dog is n the dog’s turf, there’s no violation of law. Had the dog been going into the chicken pen, then the dog would have been at fault and — they said this out loud — a legitimate target.