Bad Dog/Irresponsible Neighbors

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Patient Rosie – everybody uses her for a pillow.

Sad times around the homestead the last few weeks. Our neighbor’s dog came “visiting,” terrorized our cats and killed CeeCee, the female.

CeeCee acquired us after a severely alcoholic neighbor was hospitalized and subsequently died of liver failure. Like many in rural communities, this neighbor had barn cats who basically roamed free. When she became ill, no one seemed to give any thought to her cats. They spread over the neighborhood, starving and desperate for food. CeeCee was probably about three or four months old when she showed up at our place, thin as a rail. As we often do with semi-feral cats, we live-trapped her. When we do this, if the cat isn’t mean and has been socialized, we either find homes for them or they become part of the ranch “pride.” CeeCee was wraith-thin, but friendly. She was an extremely vocal cat, which is how she got her name, Chatty Cathy, quickly shortened to CeeCee. Having been starved so young, she never grew very tall. She dove head-first into the free-choice food and within a few months resembled a furry barrel with legs. She loved the dogs and was often to be found curled against one or the other. She was only three years old when she was killed.

Yes – did you want something? You’re disturbing my nap.

Had the dog been able to get to Radar and Black Cat (he tore up the front of the area where they had hidden trying to get at them) I’m sure we would be mourning all three of them. Losing animals, sometimes before their time, is part of ranching. Putting an animal down that is suffering is a relief all around, even though you grieve. But there was no excuse for this cat being killed. The dog that killed her was a rescue animal – they found him in a dumpster. While I understand the impulse to help, that means you take on the responsibility for that animal. This dog was always overly aggressive. He killed one of the owners’ goats, and attacked and bit my husband on two separate occasions. They allowed him to roam until other neighbors complained.
Hubby came home and found the dog trying to dig into the chicken pen. He chased him home with a few well-placed rocks, came up to the house and found the cat’s body. Needless to say, there was an immediate confrontation with the neighbor and a clear warning: “If that dog sticks so much as a toenail on our property, I will shoot it.”

Wrestling match – from the growls and hisses, you’d think they were trying to kill each other, but it’s all in fun.

My remaining cats are anxious about going outside and Radar is downright clingy. If I go out he comes with me, sticks close and comes in when I do. He used to stay out playing with CeeCee for hours on end. She was his best bud and Mom substitute – washing his face, swatting him when he was being a pain; they always slept all curled up together. He’s still looking for her.
It’s definitely put a damper on what was a neighborly relationship. The husband was very apologetic; the wife has yet to comment on it at all. And frankly, I don’t think too much of their “solution.” They gave the dog away. In other words, they passed the problem on to someone else.

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2 Responses to Bad Dog/Irresponsible Neighbors

  1. Bee says:

    Thanks, Little Leftie. No, probably no recourse – for one thing there’s no paper trail and we never made a formal complaint to law enforcement. Since the last people to live in that house were truly the neighbors from hell (among other things, the husband threatened our son-in-law with pepper spray – unprovoked), we thought these folks were much better. And overall, I would say they have been. Unfortunately, there seem to be a lot more people out there who are not responsible pet owners than the opposite, which is why there are so many abandoned and road-killed pets. Sometimes being soft-hearted is a disservice to the pet. All we know is that the dog is now several counties away, or I would contact the new owners. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the next victim isn’t a child.

  2. littleleftie says:

    That’s a horrible story that exemplifies the need for pet owners to be responsible owners. My sympathies for your loss. Nothing makes for worse neighborly relations than a conflict over a pet.
    What recourse do you have, aside from perhaps the courts? Any chance of learning to whom they gave this problem-pet?

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