On Sept. 29 at a little after 4 a.m., I was awakened by screaming rabbits and a dog barking. Well, I got out of bed, grabbed my pistol and went outside. My neighbor, Max, told me that someone was in my rabbits because he could hear them running.
I go out, in the dark, only to find one dead rabbit by my gate to the rabbitry, and I can hear what sounds like heavy breathing.
Before we could get any lights out there, a yellow dog came storming out and went under the fence surrounding the rabbitry. Yes, I got a shot at the dog, and I am praying that I hit it.
Well, we finally get lights out there, and I find that the dog had ripped the bottom out of one cage, turned over another set of cages, crushed several other cages, killed one other rabbit and we had another rabbit unaccounted for.
Plus, he tore up my fence going in and then coming back out.
No, these are not your average rabbits. I breed Mini Rex and Netherland Dwarfs for show (and a couple other breeds for pets) and have invested a great deal of money and time into this hobby. Damages were approximately $300 and that doesn't count the stress the rabbits were under.
I am livid because the owner of this offending dog does not keep it at home, on their property, where it belonged. This would not have happened if the dog had been confined as required by the Ohio Revised Code. Yep, there is a 'leash law', folks, even if our neighbors do not abide by it. I also think that residents should know that they have the right to shoot dogs for killing livestock and destroying property or attacking us. This is clearly outlined in the ORC, and your Sheriff Department can explain it to you if you have any questions.
Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with people owning dogs, I have dogs myself but mine are confined and do not terrorize the neighborhood and kill for sport. It bothers me that I have to take such actions as to shoot a dog in order to keep it out of my rabbitry. I will be posting signs that if someone has a dog and it enters my rabbitry, the dog will be shot.
Unfortunately, there are not stiffer fines for those who allow their dogs to roam free. We need to increase the fines for "dogs at large." Maybe if the owners feel it in their wallet, they may take the laws seriously and confine their pets so the rest of us do not have to take such actions to protect our own animals from being killed for sport.