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Discussion Starter #1
I live in CA and here its a felony to just kill a dog (of course, this doesn't include if the dog is attacking you or your livestock, etc), but to just kill a dog is a felony. On the other hand, its completely legal to threaten to shoot a dog or threaten to kill a dog!! I just don't get it.
As some of you may recall, my neighbors and I don't get along...thats putting it lightly. In April their two Pugs where again running loose in the neighborhood and got onto my property (squeezed through the fence opening which was fine for keeping GSDs in but not little dogs out). I took my dogs outside to play in their yard and I noticed the two dogs in our yard....Shiloh noticed them too and was much faster at getting to them than I was. The Pug lived but suffered awful injuires. Long story shorter, they tried everything to get Shiloh distroyed. Bottom line was my dogs were contained on their property and no charges/citations/etc were issued against me or my dogs.
Since that time they have continued to harrass me and make my life as misarable as possible. On 9-24 they again started threatening my dogs that if they see them out they will shoot them... they will bury all three...etc... And by 'out' they are talking about them being on their OWN PROPERTY!!!.
I've built fences. After the April incident I put up a 6' fence on the inside of my yard staying a good 15-20' away from the property line. This was in addition to the other fence that already existed on my property. I've now put Willow Screening over the 6' fence so as to not make them an easy target.
I've called the Police and made report after report and all they say is its not a crime to threaten to kill a dog and to file a Restraining Order. I tried the Restraining order-the Judge didn't feel that my life 'was in immediate danger' and that this issue is better served in Civil Court. I even had written on the request-I did not want his money, I just want them to leave me and my dogs alone!
But going back to what I was originally asking, can anyone explain why these threats aren't taken seriously? These dogs are my life and believe me I have taken every step possible to keep them safe....it just seems so wrong the way the law is written. Any suggestions??
 

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Next time they say they will shoot the dogs tell them they will have to shoot you first.

Most likely they will say fine or something to that effect.

Bingo - YOUR life has now been threatened.

Stupid to have to go that far but it sounds like you have tried everything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey, you might have something here...oh my god...that might work!!!! I know it might sound a little bit much but honestly I'm beyond myself with these threats. I KNOW if they do get a gun I would jump in front of my dogs to protect them and they would have to shoot me first-there is no question in my mind about that. Like I said my dogs are my life and I can't even tell everyone how hard it is to hear these threats being made towards them.
Lauri, you might have something....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally Posted By: MaxGunnarand be sure to record it
Thanks. I now wear a tape recorder as a necklace anytime we are outside. I'm ready.
 

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Be careful,don't let your dogs outside by themself.

I would worry about your neighbors trowing meat with poison or something like it.

Try to train them not to eat anything that is outside.

Good luck!
 

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In Canada it is an offence to threaten to burn, destroy or damage property or threaten to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that belongs to a person.

Its hard to say what to do because the laws can be so different in every state, but I was thinking that if you reviewed the definition of a threat under your law, it may include damaging or destroying property. I thought I read somewhere that dogs were considered property. It all depends on how the laws are written and the case law set in your state. If they are considered property, you could argue they are threatening to damage your property. Its a long shot.
Police aren't trained as lawyers and laws can be so convoluted. Its not just simpy how laws are written but can be affected by decisions judges have made along the way. Sometimes laws can be applied in ways that Police don't even realize.
Maybe if you had a sit down with a Prosecutor (don't know what else they would be called, it would be a Crown Attorney here) in your area.
Oh and keep a log of all the incidents, date, times and any details. If it leads to something in the future it will help refresh your memory for EVERYTHING, and you will have that much more credibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I check the yard daily before my dogs enter it. I had the extra 6' fence installed a good 15-20' from the property line to avoid them from easly tossing something over the fence or teasing them from the other side. And my dogs are never allowed out unless I am with them. (all good suggestions by the way).

I am trying so hard to find laws that would protect them more. So far I have not been successful, but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up. Right now, unfortunately, in the eyes of the law they are simply 'property', but your right, there should be a law against threatening my property.

A couple of weeks ago I installed a phoney video camera. It looks just like a real one and is made by a company that makes the real thing-this one just doesn't have working insides to it. Soon I will be investing in a real system. Until then everytime I'm outside I have a tape recorder on a cord around my neck-ready to record. This is just a nightmare.
 

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They are notoriously slow to understand the impact of animals in the legal system. If a dog is attacking you, then maybe the sherriff will come. If the dog is attacking your dog, no way -- that is here.

If it was attacking me, the sherriff said to go ahead and shoot it, if it is attacking my dog, no way.

So the neighbors slimey mutt that they leave to its own devices can litterally tear up my show dogs on my property and if it happens, THEN I can take them to court to get the replacement cost of the dog -- whippee!

So they do NOTHING! And this is county-wide. Then when some nutter shoots the neighbor dog in his yard, everyone gets in a huff about it. I blame the sherriff for these incidents.

Sorry, but we have a leash law here. If it was enforced, if people felt they could call and get results, maybe most of them would not feel they HAD to take the law into their own hands.

So how does that apply to you, well if there is any comfort in knowing that your feelings are valid and you are not alone, then you have that. What to do about the system. Well, it is just too **** bad that IF something DID happen, you could not sue the law enforcement agencies and the judge.

On the flip side, the more dog-cases make it to the docket, the more the legislature will feel that they need to regulate dogs more and tax dogs more, and well some of what they put forth might not be what you are looking for at all.
 

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Why is it the Sherriffs fault? They do not write the laws. If there is no law to enforce (and from what I have found so far, there isn't), they have no power.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for everyones feedback. I know the laws just don't go far enough to protect our treasured pets. I love Lauri's suggestion-I practiced my lines all the way home last night (for the first time I actually felt like I had some power here). Its not like I would be putting words in their mouths-it is 100% true that if they were to get a gun out and I would stand in front on my dogs to protect them. I clearly wear the tape recorder so its not like I'm trying to even hide that, and for all they know they are even on video.
I am very disappointed in the Police. On Monday I left a message on the Police officiers voice mail (one of the ones that had been to my house so many times) and he has yet to call me back. One other time in July I left a message for someone to call me back and he too, never returned my call.
The laws have gotten better but they have a long way to go. Here in Northern CA (not sure about the whole state, but true where I live) we are considered guardians instead of owners. You would think as their 'guardian' I would have some laws behind me on ways to protect them??? Like I've written, my dogs are my life. I think its terrable that I have to wait until they are injuired or killed before I have any recourse.
 

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Originally Posted By: novarobinWhy is it the Sherriffs fault? They do not write the laws. If there is no law to enforce (and from what I have found so far, there isn't), they have no power.
It's the Sheriff's fault because [Removed by Admin. Wisc. Tiger, violation of Baord Rules]

That's why it's the Sheriff's fault.
 

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P.S.- To the OP, there aren't alot of laws protecting our pets against actual acts of cruelty no matter WHERE you go. That has always been an issue.

I'd be surprised if it actually WAS against the law to shoot a dog where I live. Police Officers can't enforce laws that don't exist.
 

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Can you check to see if they do own a gun? I don't know if those kinds of records are availible to the public or whatnot. That is extremly scary, its not fair that you have to live in fear of your dogs and your own life. You should keep up on the police and just keep letting them know whats going on. So sorry you're going through this, please keep us updated and good luck!
 

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Also, maybe you can go beyond your police department and speak with councilment, state reps, or something like that, tell the the situation, maybe they can put you in a better direction and give you better info?
 

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Outside of threatening to kill the dogs, I would say that you have a good case of just harrassment to yourself.

Threatening to damage or destroy someones "property" ( i know dogs aren't property, but lets face it the way the law sees it)
IS illegal.

I mean if someone said "im going to throw a brick through your window" or "Im going to burn your house down" evertime they saw you, that would be illegal wouldn't it?
 

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Get them saying they are going to kill your dogs on tape.
Put it all over youtube.

make posters, and put them on your yard. SO AND SO WANTS TO KILL DOGS.

fight fire with fire.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Unfortunately, I just can't find that its against the law to threaten to harm/distroy property. I wish I could. According to the Police and the Peninsula Humane Society here, there is no law against threatening to shoot/kill my dogs...only laws if the action is taken.
Let me take this a step further...I can threaten to burn your house down-that could be considered a crime since human life could be inside (per Police). On the other hand, I can threaten to hit your car-no crime. I guess if the person were in the car that would be different, but for the sake of explaination, if the cars sitting there and I say to the owner-I'm going to hit your car with my car-its not a crime.
As far as the Police, I live in a small town with very little crime. Given that I'm sure they feel they have better things to do than dealing with these types of disputes. I do have a problem when I call to get copies of police reports and am told 'just because they come out to the house doesn't mean they HAVE to file a police report'. This is after the officer assured me he would document everything. Then after one of my Doctors call and speaks to the Sargent-suddenly theres a Police report and he's told they file one after every incident!. Then I call the officer on Monday, its Friday, and he's yet to return my call.
I don't expect them to write the laws or enforce laws that don't exist. I do expect them to treat me (and my property) with respect as I treat them.
I will continue to look for something in the law that makes it a crime to threaten to harm my 'property'...something that might be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Originally Posted By: Foo Lyn RooOutside of threatening to kill the dogs, I would say that you have a good case of just harrassment to yourself.
I applied for a Civil Harrassment Restraining Order last week. This included 33 pages of documented harrassment of both me and my dogs as well as copies of Police Reports. It was denied by the Judge! The reason-he didn't feel my life was in 'immediate danger' and that 'this could be handled in Civil Court'. I had already stated I don't want this mans money-I want him to leave me and my dogs ALONE! No one I know can believe this request was denied. If all this isn't Harrassment I don't know what is. Even the guy at the Courthouse said I needed to get an Attorney-that they could re-word the request for me and maybe get it passed. I haven't got money from Attorneys-I just got back to work after 5 weeks of disability and lots of lost work hours before that!
 
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