Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Death of Our Dog "Rusty, A Mountain Dog"

My Facebook Post from yesterday, Friday, May 2nd, 2014.

I know many of you already our dog, Rusty, was killed recently.

Please do not read this if you don't want to know the details,
but if you live up here you should read it.

Wednesday night I heard dogs barking and something else I couldn't figure out (but most of the dogs bark every evening because there's a deer path behind the house, there are lots of animals, and a variety of dogs running the mountain). I looked out, but saw nothing and heard nothing more.
(I didn't hear anything more because Rusty was already gone. I didn't see anything because he was lying just out of the light.)

Rusty was in his own pen and the gate was latched. The Sheriff who came to take the report said he was sure he had been attacked by pitbulls. They got into the pen by jumping up on some wood stacked on the outside and over onto the large covered barrell on the other side and that they left the same way.

Earlier in the evening two pitbulls tried to get into our friends' car to get at a puppy the wife was holding on her lap. She rolled the window up and her husband jumped in the car and got them away from where they were.
They were on their own property behind us where they have a garden.
The dogs ran after their car, but apparently when they got to our house the dogs decided to come after Rusty.
They snapped his neck.
He put up a good fight but they killed him.

One of our neighbors is known to have pitbulls, and to let them run free sometimes. The Sheriff's report says when he talked to the man he was friendly. The dogs penned up at his house, didn't seem to have any new scratches and marks. One of the dogs was younger and had no signs of ever fighting. The other had scars from fights but no new scratches. (We have no way of knowing if the neighbor has other dogs that could have been hidden or still running free.)

We still believe this neighbor's dogs are the ones, but if they are or aren't our other neighbors should be aware and on the look out for these animals described by our friends who saw them:
two pitbulls, one brown, the other has brown and grey markings similar to a German Shepherd. If our neighbor's dogs aren't the ones, that means the dogs that killed Rusty are still running free on the mountain!

Rusty wasn't little; he weighed at least 85 pounds & probably more. Based on the noises I heard, they made quick work of killing him.

Keep your smaller pets especially, someplace out of their reach, and keep a watch out.

The report says "complaintant was told a report would be forwarded to animal control." We don't know if this means it was forwarded or just that we were told it would be. That means we don't know if we'll be getting help up here to find these animals of not.

We have learned it is legal to shoot stray dogs that come on your property.

Rusty was ten years old. We got him as a puppy, the day after we moved up here. If he had died of old age we would have been sad, but this is so much worse. If ever a dog didn't deserve this it was Rusty.

Rusty a loyal mountain dog. We'll always remember him and always miss him!
Update:
Animal Control will not do anything until Monday! And even then all they say they can do is contact the neighbor we suspect owns the killing dogs and advise him of the leash law in Tennessee. My husband has learned the man does own a third pitbull that was not there when the Sheriff went to talk to him.
It's going to be another 'that's too bad' thing. Those of us who live up here will have to take care of things on our own I guess. Animal Control and the Sheriff both told my husband we have a legal right to shoot any stray dog that comes onto our property.

Additional Info:
Story made our local paper, the Greeneville Sun - Wild Animal May Have Killed Pet Dog: Official
Animal control Director Justin House - just from the location, I would assume a wild animal killed the dog.
Interesting as the Sheriff who came up was certain it was pitbulls, because wild animals would be very unlikely to get into a cage, and because the way in which our dog's neck was broken. Also I believe a wild animal that went to the trouble of killing something would eat it. Rusty was bitten but no tissue was missing as if the animal had tried to eat him!

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