This is something that somewhat came up in my last post, and over the last week at work, but it just hit home for me. How should you treat an uncontrollable animal? Cats can be crazy, toy dogs can be angry, gun dogs hunt, and large breeds can kill with a single bite. I realize that not all animals are uncontrollable, and I know that the best of animals can simply have their days, but when do you as an owner draw the line? When do the authorities have the right to step in?
In the past week two things have happened that makes me ask this. One was the case of dog killing cat (both were owned by the same person.) The other thing is my uncle's dog was killed by an unknown dog. We had several discussions on what you do when it is your animal that did something last week. If it were my dog that killed ANY cat I would have a lot of difficulty restraining myself. In fact I am sorry to say that I don't think I could. My mom was just telling me about how the dogs they had for a while would go and kill the neighboring chickens, so they got the bright idea to tie the chicken around the dog's neck as punishment. This didn't work of course, as soon as the rotting chicken came off the dog's neck within days it would go kill another one. I only know a little bit about obedience, and how you need to catch an animal in the act in order to use negative reinforcement, but I think I would still punish the dog regardless. I am completely aware that it is in their nature to do such things, but honestly I don't think I would have even a wink of guilt about punishing an animal for doing such a thing.
I can not even begin to think of what I would do to a dog who killed another dog, or a cat someone owned, or bit a child. There is no specific law that delegates if a dog should be restricted to a yard and house, or put down. Some states have dangerous animal laws where you have to do things like register your dog, and confine them with signs posted unless they are on a leash. Like I said before I know that not all bad breeds are bad dogs. I have met some of the sweetest Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, but those two breeds are the top two breeds responsible for canine homicide, and some of the dogs that have killed were reported to have never attacked prior to the incident. It seems fair to me that there at least be some laws regarding most breeds, at the very least to inform the owner of what their rights are just in case. But only 15 to 20 people are killed annually by dogs, so it is very rare, and I am not in any way advocating strong restrictions on large breeds or their owners, as I don't think that would be fair either.
One other thing that this made me wonder about is can you as a bystander defend a dog? The people who live near my uncle came out with baseball bats to chase these dogs out. If they had done anything to the dogs they would have been held responsible though. Kinda makes sense, but I rather think it stinks. Only in certain states could you kill a dog who is harming your animal, and it seems that most places it depends on the animal. This is one area however, where I am somewhat more understanding. I mean, if the people who saw the Rottweilers kill the dog were able to kill them too, then two owners would be devastated. I rather hope the the owner of the Rotts probably has enough to think about. I don't know. I rather think that if my dog did something that drastic, I would probably have to have them put down.