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Dogs falsely accused need advice

This is a forum to discuss legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of dogs. Please remember to counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice and responses.

  
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Sakari

Divas can get- dirty too !
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 1, '11 11:03am PST 
So this morning at 9:30 a.m. I got a knock at the door and when I opened it there was the sheriff.
He said that he got a call about 3 of my dogs attacking and kill 12 goats at 7a.m. this morning and needed all of my info and the info on my dogs etc he never took the time to listen to anything I had to say and his story about what happened continued to changed and ended up being several different stories by the time he was finished.

I've been really sick and had just crawled out of bed to take the dogs outside and had just gotten their collars on them so I know for sure that they were not out loose and it could not have been them because they had not been outside since 10p.m. last night.

The first story was 3 dogs - Husky ROTTWEILER and a Labrador, I own a Husky but not the other 2 breeds. Then it changed to a Chow and a German Shepherd, I own a Chow but not a German Shepherd. Then it changed to 2 black dogs (1 dog is mostly black the chow is blue).
It started off being 5 goats, then changed to 10, and by the time he was finished it was 12 goats.

I got a $5000 fine and he said if he catches my dogs outside unleashed he will pick them up. I have a fenced in yard that they can not get out of there is no leash law and I own my land.

Anyway the guy that has the goats came to look at my dogs. He said there were 3 goats that were killed and 5 that were dismembered. So 8 goats total. He saw the 2 dogs very clearly 1 was a large Rottweiler and the other was a solid white dog that was bigger than the Rottweiler and looked like a shaved Pyr. He said it was not my dogs and he had told the sheriff he wasn't sure who they belonged to but somebody stated they were my dogs.

After looking at my dogs he called and told the sheriff that it was not my dogs.

However, I am still stuck with the fine and the possibility of losing my dogs because he was told in the beginning that it was my dogs.

Is there anything I can do?
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y

dog-sitter in- charge.
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 1, '11 11:32am PST 
That's so ridiculous! You should attend your hearing or request one and challenge it, definitely!
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Isaac - ADOPTABLE!

Adopt me! I want- a forever home!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 1, '11 11:41am PST 
Definately request a hearing and get the man with the goats to testify that your dogs were not the ones involved. It's crazy that you should have to pay a fine and be threatened to have your dogs removed if they were not the ones responsible for maiming and killing the goats.

The sheriff needs to get his facts straight and find the real culprits because they might attack more livestock(or worse) in the future. The sheriff should have listened to the man with the goats more clearly and written down what he said.

Just to be on the safe side, be extra vigilant with your dogs until the real culprits are caught.

Edited by author Thu Dec 1, '11 11:42am PST

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Sakari

Divas can get- dirty too !
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 1, '11 11:49am PST 
It's a very small town and there are only 7 house in the immediate area (within a 10 mile radius). A lot of farm land and a common dumping ground for unwanted pets. We have lost 7 cows since the 26th of November.

I have 7 dogs total and to have to walk all of them on leashes will not be easy especially since my Chow and my Aussie mix are NEVER leashed except to go to the vet. I have 400 acres and 15 fenced for the dogs to run on it breaks my heart to not be able to let them run.cry

Could he really take my dogs for being loose in my fenced yard with me outside? They are never left alone outside.
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Isaac - ADOPTABLE!

Adopt me! I want- a forever home!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 1, '11 12:03pm PST 
If your dogs are on your own property, then I don't think you should have to leash them. As long as they have good recall it shouldn't be a problem. Just be extra vigilant that they don't wander off your property, be aware that no farm animals(but your own)are anywhere near them, etc... You're just going to have to be really careful until you've proven that your dogs are safe. You should probably leash them when they are off your property. It might be a hassle, but better safe than sorry. I can't imagine walking 7 leashed dogs at once, you'd need help! Sorry you have to go through this. hug
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Steel

Professional- sock burglar
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 1, '11 3:03pm PST 
I would take pictures of the yard, and show that it is fenced in, and that your dogs can't get out. Take pictures of your dogs, and if the guy with the goats will go to court with you so that you get off the hook for your fine, then all the better. But that's pretty sketchy that the sheriff didn't have his story straight when he came to talk to you and give you a fine.

If your dogs are on your property, and within a fenced yard, then I don't see how they can take your dogs, especially without actual solid proof that it was your dogs. Someone just saying that it was your dogs- that is nothing but hearsay, and should not hold up in court.
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Turner - Gone Too- Soon

Hi I'm Turner- Wanna Smell My- Butt?
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 1, '11 3:58pm PST 
Would the man with the killed goats testify for you? If so request a hearing ...
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John

Sqeuaky?
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 2, '11 1:34am PST 
You need to educate yourself on your laws yesterday. Look up all available laws pertaining to your situation at the county city(if applicable) and state level. Have those laws printed out and in your hand anytime you talk to a LEO, ACO, or judge. You will find the majority of LEOs and even some ACOs involved will be willfully ignorant of the law so you'll need something black and white to shove down their throats(in a nice sweet diplomatic way wink until they get the picture.

Written on the citation should be a court date, if there is none then there should be instructions for finding out when it is. Gather your evidence either get the farmer to come with you (which would be better) or have him sign an affidavit stating that your dogs were not the dogs he saw. Bring anything that might be of relevance to your case no matter how small. Most likely the jerk sheriff won't show up to your citation hearing and then you will win by default. However no judge in their right mind will rule in favor of a case where the one and only witness is on the side of the defense.

Good luck and I hope everything goes well for you and your pups
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 2, '11 6:44am PST 
Great advice so far. I also would challenge it in a hearing. 5k is a lot of money, but your reputation in a small community of harboring livestock killers... Anyway, where I live that's a serious accusation, probably so for your situation as well. I'd want the truth to be known. Hiring a lawyer for a day is likely cheaper than the 5k fine, it's worth considering, the initial consult is often free just to assess the case. Even if you decide not to hire them, what you learn there could help you fight it on your own.

As others have said, I would talk to that farmer immediately to make sure he will testify that the offenders were not your dogs.

Sorry this has happened to you. Good luck!
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Sakari

Divas can get- dirty too !
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 2, '11 6:53am PST 
We called yesterday and got a court date and Brad (the man who owns the goats) is very willing to go with me.
The dogs have been pretty much confined to the house since this happened aside from potty breaks they've been in the house.
We did find the Rottweiler as it was dragging a calf from my pasture no collar or tags and is very skinny so we are assuming that he was dumped. We are not sure what to do with him. Do we call AC and let him be destroyed or try to work on his problems and if he can be trusted find him a home?
I've never been one that could knowingly have a dog put down because it was starving and killed something, this part is very hard for me. And Brad being an animal lover doesn't want him put down either and has offered to take him in for the time being.

Also, we found out that the one who said it was our dogs was Brads daughter and her reason for this is because 1 year ago She She killed one of MY chickens in MY yard it was the only time it happened but because of this ALL of my dogs and foster dogs are killers and she fears for her life every time she walks past my housethinking
My dogs live with 30 chickens 15 goats (both Pygmy and Boer) 3 Donkeys 80 cattle 7 horses 20 rabbits and our foster potbelly pig. And in 3 years I've had 1 dead chicken - does that make them killers?
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