Horrific rabbit death

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Joanne Armstrong

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So last Wednesday I came home from shopping and found a patterdale terrier had jumped my garden wall and was terrorising the rabbits while they were in there hutches. I tried to shooo it away and it's snapped and snarled at me so I got my eldest son who is the proud daddy of Reggie and Ronnie(2 of our buns) and my husband to get it out which they did after a few issues. About 10 minutes After it had been chased out I heard a noise and to my horror Ronnie was on the lawn dead, my eldest son broke down . He was and still is devastated. We buried him and during the next hour the dog came back 3 more times to try get in the garden. I rang the RSPCA and reported the attack and they told me to call police so I did, they took a full report and told me to call local dog warden who said if they could trace the dogs owner the most severe action would be taken. Then I was told unless they had owner details nothing could be done, after posting a pic of the dog on FB the owner came forward. Apologized and wanted the matter dropped, then a neighbour came forward with a video of the dog. Turns out while I was shopping it spent from 10am to 12.27 terrorising all 6 rabbits till it settled on getting Ronnie out of his secure hutch, the footage shows the dog spend over an hour chewing, clawing at the hutch till finally gets the door open then goes in for Ronnie, he went to the top floor, and Stevie can be heard stamping her feet(she's Ronnies mum) so the dog goes to her hutch and Ronnie makes a dash for it just to be chased and thrown in the air, til finally the dog gets him by the throat and drags him round before finally killing him, then the dog just barks and goes to another hutch ..... That's when I come home.
Now the advise I need is I rang the relevant authorities but I want to make sure this never happens again, and now I worry as the dog owner has a 4,5 year old and a new born. All advise welcome. Attached is a picture of Ronnie who leaves behind his pregnant partner Reggie
 

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Blue eyes

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That is such a horrible story. So sorry you had to go through that. It really gets me when people don't keep their dogs under control.

We had a neighbor with several small dogs that kept getting out, and squeezing through our gate to the back yard. One actually bit me in my own backyard!

I can imagine how maddening the situation must be. Unfortunately, they may not see the killing of a rabbit as any indicator of potential aggression toward humans. Might want to get a copy of that video in case anything else occurs. Could be good to have a log.
 

BunnyCrazy

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:eek:That is AWFUL!!!:(:(:( I had a similar experience when our neighbors huge bulldog ripped of half of our fence boards and then spent the afternoon chasing our chickens and ducks, (thankfully I didn't have rabbits back then) fortunately he was to slow to catch any,(but he did bite the tail of one of the chickens) and when we got home my border collie chased him off. Poor Ronnie and Reggie. I hope you get everything figured out.:)
 

Alyssa and Bugs♡

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I'm sorry for your loss.

I had a french bulldog that brutally killed then ate 3/4 of our house chickens (bet you've never heard that term) while I was at school a little over a year ago that I was the one to find. Coming home to that was one of the worst days of my life and seeing everything I saw still affects me daily. It completely changed the way I saw that dog. I've never been so emotionless about an animal's death than I was about his no matter how hard I tried to forgive him.

I really hope everything turns out okay and you get some sort of justice. In my opinion, having kids isn't an excuse for not being unable to contain a dog.

What do you want to be done about the whole situation? Do you have any ideas about what could be done to prevent this from happening again?
 

Joanne Armstrong

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I have obtained a copy of the cctv and it’s heartbreaking, at one point Ronnie tries to get back in his hutch but pushes the door closed. He must of been terrified. The police said a few things could happen to the owners and their dog,
1. She gets tied up and muzzled.
2. She’s taken and try to rehome.
3. She’s destroyed.
4. No action.
5. Prosecution

the owner contacted my daughter yesterday asking if replacing Ronnie will help! We had him since he was born, it’s not that simple.
My son (Ronnie daddy) said he don’t want the dog destroyed. He said he don’t want the owners to hurt like he does. But also he’s torn as they have young children as I said and who knows if the dog could turn on them.
Personally I would prefer her rehomed and owner to be made aware this cannot be allowed to happen ever again if they were to get another dog
 

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I am so sorry you had to go through this, and equally sorry that your defenseless boy Ronnie endured the terrorizing action of the dog. And was killed.

Coming back 3 more times to terrorize, jump the fence, and potentially kill more of your rabbits .... ?? | I would build a larger fence and be certain the terrier doesn't dig underneath.

Rabbits get little protection or sympathy when killed (by humans who view them as lesser beings or pets). Someone with a baby and young son is not going to continually monitor where their terrier will be! Helpful to have the CCTV for documenting what happened.

I am shaken and terribly sad for Ronnie who paid with his life, and the dog kept continuing to terrorize. Dog knows your susceptible bunnies are there, the terrier will likely be back. This needs to be on the dog's record if rehomed, as the dog has a strong drive to kill defenseless mammals.
 

gabigabi

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I just want.to say I feel so much for your family and poor Ronnie. Sending lots of hugs. [emoji3590][emoji3590][emoji3590]
 

cuteus

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I am with treasuredfriend, the neighborhood is probably not safe with that dog as he is displaying an extremely high prey drive. If rehomed, it would need to be out in the country where there are no prey animals around. Is that even possible? We are not experiencing all the extreme emotions of grief/anger you are so we can give opinions that are not clouded by those feelings. Is not safe to keep that dog. The family obviously have not invested time or money in training him and has failed miserably to supervise him. Giving him a second chance could mean another person's animal companion death. Or a child. He should be rehomed with stipulations on how he should be housed. If it was a pitbull, they would have confiscated and euthanized him. I saw a show where the dog was declared dangerous and was removed from the owner's house because he bit a smaller dog that yapped and napped at him. It is not fair to treat the terrier any different than a pittie. I don't know what state you are in and what the laws are to declare an animal dangerous. Don't let emotions and compassion for the dog owners decide your actions. He needs owners that are more capable of caring for him, or, sadly, euthanasia.
 

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I am so sorry! When I was 9, I lost both my first rabbit and the replacement rabbit to the neighbor's dog. It wasn't entirely their fault, as the rabbit managed to find a hole in the fence to squeeze through both times and they both got killed in our front or side yard... but there are leash laws pretty much everywhere and it *really* chaps my behind when people disregard them!! I mean, do they WANT their dog hit by a car?? It's in the dog's best interest to be contained or leashed at all times, both for their own safety and to prevent them from becoming a neighborhood menace.

In our neighborhood, many neighbors let their (un-altered) dogs run everywhere and sleep in the road! Heck, the dog that killed my childhood rabbits slept in the middle of our street, too. I was driving to work one day last summer and saw two ugly, mangy little dogs fornicating "people style" in the drainage ditch on our street! They stared me in the eyes really hard as I drove past. It was SUPER creepy but made a great story to tell when I got home, lol. I had no idea dogs ever did it in the missionary position o_O (and quite frankly, I could happily have gone my whole life without learning that fact).

Their dog is out of control and if it were me, I'd be lobbying for prosecution. Tied up and muzzled is cruel and euthanizing a dog for doing what comes naturally isn't really fair (it's the owner's fault, not the dog's)... but if you do nothing, the problem continues and if you re-home the dog there's nothing stopping the same neighbors from getting a new dog and causing the problem all over again. Actual repercussions for the irresponsible owners strikes me as the best way to prevent a recurrence.
 

Joanne Armstrong

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Update**** The police rang this morning to inform me that the owner of the dog has not been following the rules the police emposed! He is due in court on 15th May and we may be called to give evidence. He is looking at a possible sentence. And they said the dog would most likely be destroyed. I will keep you updated as the trial progresses and thank you for all your kind words. Some good news Ronnies partner Reggie is doing really well and has formed an amazing bond with Oskar 😃 it's taken her a while to settle and stop being so nervous but she's getting there now
 

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I’m so sorry to hear this! How horrible :( I have a dog with extremely high prey drive (husky / malamute mix) but he is respectful of our bunnies and would never ever be around them unsupervised. If a person chooses to have a dog that has a high prey drive he needs to be trained to have near perfect recall, for his own safety (chasing things into the street etc) and for the safety of other people’s pets, and the local wildlife. I’m so sad for you, but also for the dog if it’s decided he is to be destroyed, as this is the owners fault and responsibility, not the dog’s. Terriers are breed specifically to find and kill small animals. The owners obviously are not meeting the needs of their dog both mentally and physically. I hope he is rehomed. And I hope that your family is not traumatized long term :( I feel horrible for all of your bunnies and what they went through. It is the pet owners responsibility to prevent their pets from this type of behaviour and it is your responsibility to keep your pets safe. This could have easily been a wild animal too, keeping your rabbits outdoors always carries a high risk, from predators, climate, to fear bring risks to your rabbits health and life. Is it not possible to keep your rabbits indoors? Or at least build or buy a secure shed for them if they cannot be in the house?
 

Joanne Armstrong

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Unfortunately they can’t live indoors as the hubby’s allergic and I will not give up my bunnies, we have 5 at the moment, my garden is huge and totally fenced off, and nothing can dig under, somehow this terrier got in we think it managed to jump the 4 ft wall at the front, we can’t make fence any higher due to local council regulations, also we are not allowed large sheds due to complaints from neighbours, I had a 8 ft one and was told to remove it, we have stressed to the police we do not want the dog destroyed as I wouldn’t want any animal to die because it follows it natural instinct, I know the owner of the dog and he was very apologetic at first but now he hasn’t followed the police instructions and has to go to court, he and his mates have made sick comments on Facebook like it’s not my fault my dog has a taste for rabbit, and should of dragged it home we could of had stew! Comments like this make me angry, Ronnie was our baby, and it’s been a while now since the attack but it’s just not same without him and we still miss him daily x
 

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People will ridicule our beloved pets and family members all the time. That ridicule and demeaning type of comment speaks volumes about the homo sapiens making the remark. And the homo sapiens who is to appear in court. Keep your &$@^ terrier kill-driven dog chained, leashed, and under supervision.

I likewise feel horrible for your defenseless buns that were terrorized including Ronnie, and Ronnie eventually killed. Heartbroken.

The sick comments on Facebook show his true colors.
 

Scarly

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Unfortunately they can’t live indoors as the hubby’s allergic and I will not give up my bunnies, we have 5 at the moment, my garden is huge and totally fenced off, and nothing can dig under, somehow this terrier got in we think it managed to jump the 4 ft wall at the front, we can’t make fence any higher due to local council regulations, also we are not allowed large sheds due to complaints from neighbours, I had a 8 ft one and was told to remove it, we have stressed to the police we do not want the dog destroyed as I wouldn’t want any animal to die because it follows it natural instinct, I know the owner of the dog and he was very apologetic at first but now he hasn’t followed the police instructions and has to go to court, he and his mates have made sick comments on Facebook like it’s not my fault my dog has a taste for rabbit, and should of dragged it home we could of had stew! Comments like this make me angry, Ronnie was our baby, and it’s been a while now since the attack but it’s just not same without him and we still miss him daily x
oh man, it sounds like you have tried to take as many precautions as possible :( that’s disgusting that they would comment things like that! I would loose it if I was in your position. Hopefully he gets what’s coming to him in court.
 

Nancy McClelland

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If the dog did that to my bunnies, there wouldn't be a second chance--I'm more of an Old Testament sort. I firmly believe the owner is responsible and also should be accountable--we have leash laws here too, and there have been fines for several on our court that let theirs run loose and don't clean up. I have 2 Great Danes that have been taught that our bunnies and birdies are "off limits" and the never go out unless leashed and there is no way they can get out and run free--our small boy is 172 pounds--78+ kilos and his older brother is much bigger--there is no excuse for your dog getting out. Our heart goes out to you and your poor bunny.
 

Black Otter's Mom

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Update**** The police rang this morning to inform me that the owner of the dog has not been following the rules the police emposed! He is due in court on 15th May and we may be called to give evidence. He is looking at a possible sentence. And they said the dog would most likely be destroyed. I will keep you updated as the trial progresses and thank you for all your kind words. Some good news Ronnies partner Reggie is doing really well and has formed an amazing bond with Oskar 😃 it's taken her a while to settle and stop being so nervous but she's getting there now
I felt physically ill reading what happened to your bunnies. My bunny is so beloved that I would lose my mind going through that. The owner must be prosecuted. Because people eat rabbits there is little sympathy. If a dog were to kill a cat or another dog it would be on the news. Bunnies have zero way to protect themselves, they don't bark or meow and all they can do is thump their foot. I am sitting here crying thinking of what they went through. Its a totally preventable groteque act. I understand what you said about restrictions to your fence height, my property association will write you up if you have non regulation flowers that are not from pre-approved list. I am allergic to rabbits too but am so addicted to them I cant help myself. I have had 11 house bunnies over decades and if I lost one to violence I would absolutely die inside.
Please know how many of us feel deeply for what you went through and those precious, gentle souls who were attacked. That owner should be in jail. There are leash laws. Please keep us posted.
 

cuteus

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Unfortunately they can’t live indoors as the hubby’s allergic and I will not give up my bunnies, we have 5 at the moment, my garden is huge and totally fenced off, and nothing can dig under, somehow this terrier got in we think it managed to jump the 4 ft wall at the front, we can’t make fence any higher due to local council regulations, also we are not allowed large sheds due to complaints from neighbours, I had a 8 ft one and was told to remove it, we have stressed to the police we do not want the dog destroyed as I wouldn’t want any animal to die because it follows it natural instinct, I know the owner of the dog and he was very apologetic at first but now he hasn’t followed the police instructions and has to go to court, he and his mates have made sick comments on Facebook like it’s not my fault my dog has a taste for rabbit, and should of dragged it home we could of had stew! Comments like this make me angry, Ronnie was our baby, and it’s been a while now since the attack but it’s just not same without him and we still miss him daily x
The fact that this dog has tried several times to come back is the first indication that the owners are irresponsible and deserved no second chances. Now you have more proof with the heartless comments. He must have been a great actor to convince you to take pity, but they were only words and actions speak louder. If no one wants the dog or has the commitment to train him, he has no future. I don't know if it can be saved. Rehoming means the dog will be removed and taken to the shelter? It means he comes with a record too. The shelter might not want to invest time and money in training the dog and might see euthanasia as the best option for the dog. I guess if you feel strongly about it, you could look for animal groups that will take a problem dog and work with him. Something like Last Chance. Looks like these owners were hoping that you and the police would drop the issue and he could carry on as always. Don't waive. If the dog is PTS, it was not your doing.
 

Nancy McClelland

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I hate to say it, but the owners are responsible for "not" training and keeping their dog where it belongs--probably too late for both the dog and the people that own it. One of our neighbors has a 4 pound Silky that came running across the street after my big boy. He thought it was funny til he got fined and got the hospital bill for the repair to rotator cuff I partially tore restraining a 208 pound dog--should have just let mine eat his, but that's not how I am. One thing that is effective is to put another barrier the same height as your fence but about a half foot back so there is a gap--that usually works. 55 years ago I would have just punched them and told them next time I'll double it--that was effective, especially in High School.
 
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