This has been quite the drama.
Still seething, I duly appeared at the Jackson Town Office yesterday at eight in the morning, to see if I couldn't find out whose murderous dog it was that crushed our chickens to death.
The Town Clerk had heard of other chickens getting killed in the neighborhood, but our Animal Control Officer wasn't answering the phone. Apparently there had been some kind of family difficulty. So I said I would call Waldo County Sheriff's Office, to see if the next time this dog appeared and attacked our livestock, I might not just shoot it dead and be done, safely and within the law.
Off I went to work. Later I found time to call the Sheriff's Office during my break.
The Deputy discouraged me from "discharging" my rifle at the dog if I could possibly help it, but told me quite clearly that if I had no choice to protect my animals, I could certainly kill the dog. He also suggested that the Selectors had a duty to provide a proper Animal Control service, particularly in order that our hard-pressed police forces were not tied up dealing with dogs and chickens, and that I should get onto them to make sure that they got on their job. I called the Town Clerk back with this second bit of advice, and was told that the topic of Animal Control would certainly be up for discussion at the next weekly Selector's meeting.
I could appreciate the Deputy's careful nuance. Random bullets winging about the countryside are probably not a Good Thing. But I also made sure to tell the Town Clerk that if Animal Control were not available, I'd have no choice but to shoot the dog.
I then went about my business for the rest of the day, albeit still little upset in the back of my mind that the chickens had been so brutally killed, and that there was very little that it seemed the authorities could do about it. I also dreaded coming home to find more carnage in my dooryard.
Returning from work around five in the evening, Aimee was already home, no further trouble had occurred, and she had good and yet better news.
The Town Office in the next town to the south, Brooks, had called and left a message, wanting to be called back. Aimee did so right away. Apparently they then wanted to know if we had been troubled by a white sled-dog type of dog. Aimee said yes, one grey-white sled-dog had just last night killed four or likely five of our chickens, and given us a good bit of trouble getting rid of it.
Well, then, said the Brooks authorities, we should submit a bill. Apparently they know whose dog this is, and the owners will be paying compensation. A lot of chickens have been killed all around the area, and this dog's owners are seemingly accepting responsibility.
Apparently too, the dog has now been shot, albeit not dead.
A pity, that.
Because unless the dog's injuries are so bad as to prevent it from ever running again, it seems that this particular owner or set of owners doesn't give a damn about their neighbors livestock, and so if the dog recovers, it may be allowed to go on the rampage again.
Better all round had it been killed outright.
How long has this dog been killing chickens? Weeks? Months? Years?
If this was my dog, I'd have taken immediate responsibility after the first attack, and put the dog down myself.
The Brooks Town Office wouldn't tell Aimee who the dog's owners are, but I've half a mind to call them today and tell them they should tell me who or they're sheltering criminals. Maybe if they won't give satisfaction, I'll make a police complaint.
I want to know who these stupid people really are, and why they think they can let this dog run. And, if at all possible, I want them punished so they are dissuaded from doing it again.
Farming is hard enough in our area without farmers having to worry about stupid people and their stupid dogs. And I really don't need this dog around during lambing season. My priority is to get rid of the dog as permanently as possible.
Aimee, for her part, still thinks the owners are the ones to be punished. Opportunity knocking, she ran up a bill last night and will duly deposit it at the Brooks Town Office later this week for payment. She included all the costs of raising the chickens, plus our time spent trying to get rid of the dog.
The total was $282.50.