Our new dog.......and a massive problem!

stevegreen

Well-known Member
Two weeks ago we had a new dog, an 18 month old Lurcher that was in a rescue kennel.

[imglink]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3047/2923467717_9966f6a86a.jpg[/imglink]

We knew from his walks that he is fine with other dogs, horses, bunches of kids, ducks and swans but we were very aware that he hated cats and squirrels.

Our next door neighbours have recently had two new kittens so when we got the dog we erected more fencing in-between us and them to ensure that the dog couldn't get out.

Anyway, this morning Lorna let him out for his morning ablutions and he proceeded to jump over the fence and kill one of the kittens (see update here), then returning it to our garden :eek:

Now I realise that this is a completely natural thing for him to do and we had made safeguargds to ensure that the fences were raised, we didn't realise that he would still be able to jump over a 6 foot fence. Question is, could we be liable for anything? Where do we stand leaglly if the neighbours decided to get nasty?
 
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Steven

Senior Moderator
I suspect if it went down the legal route it would have to be argued whether you took reasonable enough steps and whether you owed a duty, having admitted your dog "hates cats and squirrels"

Also raises the question of whether your dog would be in trouble now as it is confirmed it is a danger to small domestic animals. I hope you absolutely never let it off its leash around children

Quite a sad story :(
 

stevegreen

Well-known Member
Also raises the question of whether your dog would be in trouble now as it is confirmed it is a danger to small domestic animals. I hope you absolutely never let it off its leash around children
He is absolutely fine around children and has played quite happily with our friends 3 year old daughter, in fact he was noticibly gentle. Our other friend has a baby in a pram and he completely ignored him when we saw them.

I think it's the instintive hunting nature of lurchers that can lead them to kill things like rabbits.

I far more concerned for the terror and pain the kitten suffered.
I don't think it suffered from what I have been told of the timescale of events.
 

shahedz

Distinguished Member
that's terrible news, ( i have 2 cats and my sister has a kitten) poor kitten, but to be fair you've put up a 6ft fence. I would never imagine a dog being able to jump a 6ft fence? Has it ever jumped it before ? If it hasn't I can't see what else you could have done.

To me the fact the you put up a 6ft fence in the first place is a preventitive measure, maybe from now on a long leash in the garden would be a good move. Does your neighbour know yet?
 

Newton's Ring

Novice Member
Could go to a cat rescue place and try and find one just like it.

Failing that, move out while they're at work. :devil:
Apologies - it sounds like I was being flippant. I have a couple of cats too - they're like my own children to me. Just to echo the sentiments here - it is very sad but I think you've done all you could. Hopefully your neighbours will be ok with you. Good luck with it all.
 

Dextur

Distinguished Member
I would never imagine a dog being able to jump a 6ft fence?

?
Oh yeah, easy easy. Our springer spaniel can get to the top of our 6' lap panels and he's a small dog.

Infact if he hears somebody on the other site, he literally takes a run up, charges , jumps half the fence, defies gravity and sort of runs/scrabbles up the last couple of feet until his haunches sit over the top of the panel and he hangs there like a demented idiot with his head over the over side of the fence.

Of 6' , 4' is cleared on the jump alone, he can almost vertial take off that distance..

I would estimate you would need another 1.5' to make it so he can't rest on the top before he starts falling back down again.

He's a biggish Springer but not a big dog in general, it's very very easy if the dog is driven.
 

stevegreen

Well-known Member
As an aside, when we were conssidering having a rescue dog someone came round and 'checked out' the house and their only recommendation was that we raised the fence a little. Looks like we should have erected 10ft steel fences with electrified barbed wire on top!
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Question is, could we be liable for anything?

I've had two cats killed by dogs and both times it has been a lurcher that did so. I've not yet found another breed so bereft of redeeming features.

Incidentally one of those two dogs was "fine with kids"- and it was, right up until the point it attacked the owners' five year old niece.

With the best will in the world, you have an animal with a socially unacceptable habit-this time the cat owners have been astonishingly generous in their assesment of events. I can't see many others being that way.

EDIT- If he dog didn't leave the garden I in part retract this statement but I still wouldn't want to live near a dog that can do something like this.
 
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Dextur

Distinguished Member
the cat owners have been astonishingly generous in their assesment of events. I can't see many others being that way.
I think the OP stated it was the cat owners father, I suspect the poor owner of the mauled kitten will be less flippant.
 
D

Deleted member 272105

Guest
Have to say as the owner of a kitten I'd be really gutted!
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
I'm sorry to say that if it were my kitten I would demand the dog gets put down. It's a shame though as Lurchers really are lovely little dogs if you beat it into them at a young age. I think a 6ft fence is the tallest you are allowed between you and your neighbours so if the dog can jump it and kill a cat there's not much else you can do about it.
 
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Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
What a charming person you must be :rolleyes:
I've never claimed it is anything other than a harsh response.

If we're talking about a popularity contest, I still imagine I'd have less of a popularity problem with my neighbours than the man with the dog that considers other pets smaller than itself fair game.
EDIT- I still wouldn't want to have cats and live next door to this dog but if it didn't leave the garden then there is a different issue.
 
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GrahamC

Novice Member
When needing a fence to keep a dog in an enclosed area think of how a dog scales a fence, they tend to run up the fence and scramble over the top edge. If you have the top edge overhang back into your enclosed area a dog will find it very hard to scale even a modest fence.
 

Dextur

Distinguished Member
you have the top edge overhang back into your enclosed area a dog will find it very hard to scale even a modest fence.
Yes good point but make sure any overhang downwards at an angle, so it's pushing them away from the fence but not making a ledge.

If you simply overhang it straight out, they will rest on it.
 

stevegreen

Well-known Member
As an update, it appears as though the kitten was actually in our garden and the dog chased it back over the fence. I must admit I found it a little strange that the dog simply jumped the fence with no impetus behind it as he has never made any effort to get over before.

No easier on the kittens owner though :( The lady that came to asses our house for suitability is on her way round and i'm stuck at work!
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
As an update, it appears as though the kitten was actually in our garden and the dog chased it back over the fence. I must admit I found it a little strange that the dog simply jumped the fence with no impetus behind it as he has never made any effort to get over before
If this is the case, I will retract the previous comment- the situation isn't ideal but the dog did at least not physically leave the garden to go after the cat.
 

eric pisch

Novice Member
alot of dogs can clear 6 foot easy, i seam to remember seeing police dogs clear 9 foot fences by running up them.

lurchers are closely related to greyhounds and both are breed to chase and kill small furry things, we had loads (both kinds) and both would kill anything small and furry on site, none was every aggressive to kids so i dont think you need to worry about that.

one of our jacks used to clear our 6 foot fence so we fitted so very bendy plastic trelace to the top (about 2 foots worth) when the dogs paws touch it it moves and they generally back out of the jump, shrub fences also can have the same affect, providing theres a real fence behind it to stop them getting through the gaps.

lurchers like greyhounds can be a bit thick thou so that may not work
 
Hello Steve :smashin:

I also have just got a new dog and yes its from the local dogs home. Its a little like the Simpson's dog. Currently I have some issues with it with other dogs, horses and young kids.

I don't think you can be held for the actions of an animal. If that was the case then most of us pet owners would be responsible for a few deaths.

The only thing is just say that it happened and move on to stopping it. Ever tried dog's behaviour lessons ? They teach YOU to train the dog to heel, leave and a few other basic things. Best thing I went to. Cheaper version is maybe this.
 

sibeer

Well-known Member
At the end of the day you have tried to take reasonable measures to prevent this. I am sure that you would have taken further measures to prevent this if you thought it was going to happen, as such it is just a very unpleasant accident. I think you should really offer to make the fence taller and offer to replace the kitten should the owner want to.

Unfortunately it is in the dogs nature to kill small furry animals, same with cats. If you had left a rabbit running around your garden you would not be surprised if a local cat had come and attacked it as they are expected to prowl the area. People stop this from happening by being responsible and keeping the small animals in hutches and runs. Really the case with a kitten isn't that much different, they shouldn't be left on their own outside a house, especially not next door to a dog.
 

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