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Troutdale farmer accused of trapping, shooting and killing neighbor's dog faces felony animal abuse charges | OregonLive.com

A 35-year-old Troutdale farmer accused of shooting and killing a neighbor's dog after trapping it on his property faces first-degree aggravated animal abuse, first-degree theft and tampering with evidence charges.

The farmer, David W. Shonk, who also runs a Gresham Market that sells organic and natural foods, says the dog had repeatedly ventured onto his land, and he needed to protect his property, his chicken coop and livelihood.
Prosecutors and Multnomah County Animal Services say Yukon was caught in a leg trap Shonk had left on his property. Shonk is accused of shooting the dog in the head with a shotgun, and burying him.

"He wasn't killing, wounding or injuring any livestock. If anything, he was being a public nuisance, which in human speak, is basically trespassing," Freeland said.
 

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I think it's sad that the dog's owner let the dog roam around like that. I don't understand how it's theft, the dog was trespassing. That's like me throwing my ipod on someone's lawn and saying they stole it. Farmers have every right to protect their livelihood. It's a husky, they are known for their prey drive, and the guy was mysteriously losing his chickens while he sees this dog on his property. Is he supposed to do a tonne of DNA tests before he shoots the dog, or what?

The owners should realize they are at fault for letting their dog roam, and stop blaming the farmer for protecting HIS animals.

Burying the dog and denying it really wasn't a good idea, though.
 

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I think it's sad that the dog's owner let the dog roam around like that. I don't understand how it's theft, the dog was trespassing. That's like me throwing my ipod on someone's lawn and saying they stole it. Farmers have every right to protect their livelihood. It's a husky, they are known for their prey drive, and the guy was mysteriously losing his chickens while he sees this dog on his property. Is he supposed to do a tonne of DNA tests before he shoots the dog, or what?

The owners should realize they are at fault for letting their dog roam, and stop blaming the farmer for protecting HIS animals.

Burying the dog and denying it really wasn't a good idea, though.


Honestly, once he caught the dog in the leg trap he should have turned him in with human society. He trapped him. That should have been enough. Shooting the dog is a bit much after trapping him in the first place. Call the authorities, let them deal with it but don't punish the dog, damnit!
 

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Honestly, once he caught the dog in the leg trap he should have turned him in with human society. He trapped him. That should have been enough. Shooting the dog is a bit much after trapping him in the first place. Call the authorities, let them deal with it but don't punish the dog, damnit!
I agree, although now that I read the comments about this article it appears that leg-traps are illegal where that guy lives, which was another pretty stupid idea on his part. He probably didn't want to get in trouble for that.
 

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Shoot, shovel, and shut up. The farmer's/country motto.

I fault the owners, not the guy who trapped the dog. Leg traps are illegal without a permit in a lot of places, so he will most likely be in trouble for that. If he had just shot the dog, nothing would be said.

Denying it makes him look guilty, even though he technically did nothing wrong (depends on if leg traps are illegal there).

ETA: as someone who has chickens, I can tell you that even a strange dog barking at them can scare them from laying. Sometimes it can take a couple of days before they start up again. A bad scare (dog jumping on the fence/chasing them) can throw them off for a week of more. So, just the dog being there is reason enough to be shot by someone who depends on their hens for food/money.
 

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I feel bad for the dog. He lost his life for his owner's fault (for letting him roam around). I'm with the farmer that he had right to protect his investment (chicken) and if that risk/threat was trespassing then he needed to do what was legally allowed to protect his investment. However, the farmer acted stupidly by using an illegal leg trap and then shot a helpless animal and denied the whole thing. For that he should face the penalty !
 

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I hate reading about this type of situation because, in the end, the dog will always be the looser. The dog was doing what came natural, which is chasing chickens. That's not the dog's fault. The dog was also wandering the neighborhood, crossing onto peoples' properties. That's not the dog's fault, either.

It's the dog's owners who are to blame for the dog's behavior. When you allow your dog to roam free, there is no reasonable way you can expect your dog not to get himself into trouble. A dog can cover a pretty big distance if he chooses to and if there is something interesting to get at. A bored dog will probably explore. Run into the road. Cross onto neighbors' properties. Get into horse or other livestock pastures. Get into a trash pit.

There are so many things that can happen to a dog that is allowed to roam. He could get stomped to death by a horse in a horse pasture. Kill himself eating something from a trash pit. Get trapped in someone's barn. Chase and kill the neighbor's cat, goats, chickens, whatever. Or generally make himself a nuisance doing things such as running at a neighbor's dogs who are out playing, or at a neighbor who's gone down to his mail box to check the mail.

The problem is, in many rural areas, there are no laws that require dogs to be leashed, and even if there's a dog warden or animal control officer that covers the area, they oftentimes cannot do anything unless they know who the dog's owner is. In my area, dogs are not required to be leashed where I live, outside the actual village. But they're "supposed to remain on the owner's property" when loose.

Yeah ... we know *THAT* happens if they're allowed to roam ... that's why I keep having to avoid the Labs in the road every couple of mornings and keep having to chase the stupid Dane off my property. I can't even walk to the mail box without that stupid dog running at me. (Fortunately, he is friendly.) Several calls to the dog warden, and for a while, they kept the dog on a zip line in the yard, but now he's loose again. *GRRR*

I guess what it comes down to in the case above is this -

(1) Has this farmer made any complaints about this dog threatening or killing his livestock? If not, did he not do it because he didn't know who the dog belonged to? Because there's no dog warden or animal control?

Going by the article, it appears that the farmer HAS been complaining about that dog, and other neighborhood dogs, running loose and going after his livestock about a year ago. (Yet idiot owner let the Husky out to "exercise on his 40 acre property" regardless of the fact that he knew for over a year that his dog, among others, has been bothering this farmer and his livestock.)

(2) Are leg traps legal where he is at? Was the trap left on his property specifically to catch this dog, or did he have traps out to trap, for example, coyotes who might come in and kill livestock?

In the article, the deputy says that "leg-hold or snare traps are not humane", but he does not mention whether it is illegal or not. I am assuming that, since he did not mention it being illegal, it is probably legal in that area.

(3) Once he found the dog in the trap, was killing it the most humane thing to do? I guess this would depend on the type of trap. Some of them would most likely result in the dog loosing the leg, or loosing enough blood to kill him, etc.
 

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I agree that the dog is the loser, since he has to pay the price for his owner's stupidity. Most states have a shoot on sight law regarding animals bothering livestock. I scoffed at the statement that they did a fecal exam that found the dog hadn't killed any of his chickens.
1) it doesn't take any more than the dog running at the fence to stop a hen from laying, sometimes for as long as a week
2) dogs can kill chickens without ingesting feathers or anything else. Most dogs that kill chickens don't even realize that they are edible! they jump on them and crush them.
3) the owner KNEW that this farmer had made complaints against the dog but ignored them because "my dog wouldn't do that"

Even if I knew with 100% certainty that my dog hadn't bothered the chickens (boarded at the vet while I was on vacation or something ironclad) I wouldn't let my dog roam knowing that the farmer was having problems. Why? because it's LEGAL to shoot a dog that harasses livestock.
It sounds to me like the guy is being railroaded. I sympathize with the fate of the dog, but have no sympathy for the owners.
 

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I grew up on a small farm and S,S,S was the rule.

A neighbor let his rottie run loose. The dog started taking a local farmer's calves down, sometimes just gnawed their ears off sometimes killed them. He knew who owned the dog and called the man asking him to keep his dog penned up or tied down. The man said 'that's not my dog attacking your calves'.

Next time the farmer saw the dog he shot it, killing it. He then phoned the neighbor to let him know, "I shot the dog that was NOT yours" and hung up.

Farmers get so fed up, often it's the city/suburban folks who move out and think just because they're in the country they can let the dogs run loose. I feel bad for the dogs but when it comes to protecting livestock, some of which are valuable as beloved pets too... I would protect my horses with deadly force if necessary.

I feel bad for the dog but Dainerra is right (btw my Dad has chickens and he had to run electric wire around the outside of the pen because of the neighbor's dogs harrasing the chickens. Works real well one shock or two and the dog usually learns it's lesson)

Shoot, shovel, and shut up. The farmer's/country motto.

I fault the owners, not the guy who trapped the dog. Leg traps are illegal without a permit in a lot of places, so he will most likely be in trouble for that. If he had just shot the dog, nothing would be said.

Denying it makes him look guilty, even though he technically did nothing wrong (depends on if leg traps are illegal there).

ETA: as someone who has chickens, I can tell you that even a strange dog barking at them can scare them from laying. Sometimes it can take a couple of days before they start up again. A bad scare (dog jumping on the fence/chasing them) can throw them off for a week of more. So, just the dog being there is reason enough to be shot by someone who depends on their hens for food/money.
 

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I grew up with the idea that, most of the time you didn't call the cops to complain about roaming animals - only if you knew the neighbor was a jerk. If you call the cops, they only say "shoot it" anyway, so only if you need a paper trail do you make an official complaint.

Here is the provision in the AR code:
(2) Any person knowing that any dog has killed or is about to catch, injure, or kill any domesticated animal shall have the right to kill the dog, without in any way being liable to the owner of the dog in any courts of this state.

ETA: so you don't even have to know that the dog has bothered your livestock before - just that you believe it is going to now.....
 

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Several years ago, my farmer neighbor across the highway (rural county Texas) shot my GSD for being on his property. The farmer raised hounds and I suspect one of his females came into heat. But for a couple of days I could not keep Max from gnawing through the fence or digging out from under it. I know alot of you will fault me for leaving him out of doors unsupervised during the day but " it is what it is " ! In any case I came home one afternoon to find blood all over the patio and when I called for my dog, he came running up from behind the storage shed slinging blood everywhere. I got him to lay down as I wrapped him in a blanket and rushed him to my vet. He had been shot with a shot gun, there where pellets all down his left side and part of his right ear had been blown off. My vet wanted me to press charges against the farmer, but there was nothing I could prove in a court of law.
I relate this story only to say, I accepted responsibility for my animals actions and was my fault that I wasn't able to secure him in his yard. Max lived four more years, floppy ear and all, only to die of cancer at the ripe ole age of 12yrs.
 

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Here is part of the subset from WV law:

§ 19-20-18. Same--Duty of owner to kill dog; proceeding before magistrate on failure of owner to kill
The owner or keeper of a dog that has been worrying, wounding, chasing or killing any sheep, lambs, goats, kids, calves, cattle, swine, show or breeding rabbits, horses, colts or poultry not the property of the owner or keeper, out of his enclosure, shall, within forty-eight hours, after having received notice thereof in writing from a reliable and trustworthy source, under oath, kill the dog or direct that the dog be killed. If the owner or keeper refuses to kill the dog as hereinbefore provided, the magistrate, upon information, shall summon the owner or keeper of the dog, and, after receiving satisfactory proof that this dog did the mischief, shall issue a warrant on application being made by the owner of the sheep, lambs, goats, kids, calves, cattle, swine, show or breeding rabbits, horses, colts or poultry killed; and give it into the hands of the sheriff, who shall kill the dog forthwith or dispose of by other available methods.
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The long and short of it is: if someone has the cops come and tell you that your dog was seen bothering livestock, you have 48 hours to have it destroyed. It is illegal to give the dog away to another home also.

§ 19-20-17. Same--Unlawful to harbor dog; penalty A person who shall harbor or secrete or aid in secreting a dog which he knows or has reasons to believe has worried, chased or killed any sheep, lambs, goats, kids, calves, cattle, swine, show or breeding rabbits, horses, colts or poultry not the property of the owner of the dog, out of his enclosure, or knowingly permits the same to be done on any premises under his control, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, before any court or magistrate having jurisdiction thereof in the county in which the offense is committed, shall be fined not less than ten dollars nor more than fifty dollars, and, at the discretion of the court or magistrate, imprisoned in the county jail not more than thirty days. Each day that the dog is harbored, kept or secreted shall constitute a separate offense.
 

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The thing is, there was no evidence that this dog or other dogs had been eating his chickens. We have a lot of coyotes in this area, and I wouldn't be surprised if the coyotes were the ones who were getting his chickens. I think it's extremely unnecessary to trap the dog, and then shoot it while it's defenseless. For all he knows, the dog was lost.

Yes the owner was stupid for letting the dog run free, but I have a problem with any person who traps a dog and then shoots it while it's trapped. If you see it attacking the livestock, fine, shoot it. If you catch it on your property, fine, call the authorities. But trapping it and then shooting it while it's defenseless is messed up.
 

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I guess it depends on what side of the fence you are on. My livestock is also pets. Do I shoot first, no. But the man had been making complaints for a YEAR and nothing was done. coyotes are fairly easy to keep away, at least compared to domestic dogs.

what was he to have done? calling animal control and the police had done nothing. giving the dog back to the owners would have just meant that it was back in his yard the next day. Is it fair to the dog? No, but that is the owner's fault, not the farmer's. Sadly, it's the dog that had to pay the price, but that is the difficult truth with all stupid owners
 

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^ What they said.

I live in a farming community, and most farmers will shoot on sight - not after a year of complaints! Their livestock is their livelihood, and a dog just chasing livestock can kill it, without the dog actually attacking it. Everyone knows if your dog wanders, there is the possibility it will get shot. The only issue I have with the story is the leg trap, I would have rather he just shot the dog.
 

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Dog owner's fault all the way.

Dogs can be pretty crafty, he probably had no luck laying in wait for the dog, and ended up having to trap it. Then he shot it. To him, it is there for his chickens, and he is taking care of the problem. If it was my dog, it would be my fault.

Also, good grief, you have to wait until the dog ingests your chickens before shooting it???

Whatever.

I think people have to be more careful with their pets. Huskies have high prey drive, and chickens are easy.

I live in farm country too. I do not leave my dogs run loose, because I would agree with the farmers if they felt they needed to shoot my dogs.

I HAVE called the sherriff about a dog and HAVE been told to shoot it.

There ARE leash laws out here, but enforcement is non existant. We just do not have the manpower.
 

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The owner is to blame. He should have known better, especially since he had a husky.

I don't blame farmers for shooting animals on their property. But what bugs me is that the farmer denied he trapped the dog, shot and killed the dog, and buried it. If he didn't do nothing wrong, why deny it?

If it were me, I would have injured the dog, called the owner and tell them to come and get the dog. If the dog did it again, I would personally have the person hand over the dog to me or authorities.(OK, maybe not me.) Or(the most likely thing I would do.) is tell the owner, if the dog is on my property again, the dog will be dead or take the dog to a shelter/rescue myself(I don't if I could the last part legally.) I just feel bad for killing the dog for its owners stupid actions.

But I live in the city, so who knows what I would really do.
 

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actually, just shooting to injure the dog would be illegal - animal cruelty. It's actually better to just make a clean shot and kill the dog.

As to why the farmer denied it, maybe he did it out of anger at the owner. "Oh your dog is gone? Nope haven't seen him..." thinking "hey, the guy denies that his dog is the one causing my problem, so let him stew a bit" It could also be that he was worried about trouble for using a leg trap.

I always feel bad for the dogs that end up killed by their owners stupidity, whether they be shot for roaming, hit by a car or ??? Sadly, it will always be the animal that suffers for the stupidity of people.
 
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