Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Frankly, I don't think dogs should be allowed to run loose anywhere. I once had to shoot a dog who was killing livestock in my very rural area. He'd killed 3 of my neighbor's goats, an entire flock of chickens a few houses down, a few sheep, and a calf--that I know of. He'd been lurking around my place a bit too, to the point that I began carrying my gun every time I went out, and kept it by my door when I was in the house (which is something, as usually I keep it locked up). Finally one morning I had a clear shot and I took it. I'm not a great shot so I just seriously wounded him, but he couldn't get away and I had to go up and shoot him again to put him out of his misery. It was very hard for me and I wished that his fancy leather collar had tags on it, because I would have loved to know who the owners were. I was furious with them for all the suffering their irresponsible ownership caused--the poor dog who was just being a dog and had to be shot for it, the poor animals he killed, the people who had to go out and find their animals dead, and myself as shooting him was very upsetting to me! It was necessary to protect my livestock and I know it was the right thing, but man it was hard because I love dogs, I don't want to have to kill them!
Even less obviously destructive dogs are a nuisance and are at great risk. I've met many people in the country who will shoot a dog just for being on their property. I've seen dogs hit by trains, hit by cars even on rural roads, eaten by coyotes or other predators, caught in traps (even if trapping is illegal in your state, people may do it), killed by eating poisons left out for vermin, etc. etc. etc.
In short, I really have lots of sympathy for the dogs who are left to their own devices, but no sympathy at all for their owners. I've heard many people lament their missing dog, and in the same breath defend letting him run loose all day because "it's okay, we're in the country, there's no leash law out here!" and all I can think is what an idiot that person is (they're also usually the ones who will insist that Fluffy could never kill a chicken if you confront them with the evidence, as if only mean dogs have a prey drive). If you can't take care of your dog properly--which includes not letting it run loose--then you shouldn't own one. I mean, accidents happen and dogs can get loose from even the best owners, but when you see the same ones day in and day out, you know it's not just an accident.
The rowdy dogs:
Hector-2 y/o GSD (mix?) rescue
Scooter-12 y/o ACD/Border Collie mix
Bandit-8 y/o ACD
Wooby-14 y/o ACD
Abutiu "Abi"-ACD puppy and hopeful future SAR dog!