My friend's tenant shot and killed my friend's dog on her property

The tenant lived in a house on the same property my friend lives on. The tenant had chickens, and recently one was killed. My friend's dog (a young retriever) ran loose on the property, as did the tenant's two dogs-- there's no proof that ANY of the dogs killed the chicken. So a couple weeks ago, the tenant shot and killed my friend's dog, and then buried it somewhere on the property, and allowed my friend and her family to believe the dog had run off. They didn't find out for days what really happened. My friend's husband went to the police (this is near Canton, NC in Haywood County), and was told that there was nothing they could do because the dog was running loose. HOWEVER, it was running loose on THEIR property (about twelve acres). So my question is, were they told the right information, and what, if anything, can be done? Can they put out a warrant for her arrest and/or take her to civil court? They've already evicted her, but they want justice for their dog. Thanks.

Best Answers

  • Emily Lund GroschEmily Lund Grosch Posts: 371Member
    Accepted Answer
    Check the Haywood County animal control laws, but I'm pretty sure that as long as the dog remains on their property, it is not considered "running loose". If the chickens are also free range on their property, then it is the tenant taking the risk. I don't think the tenant had the right to shoot their dog, even if it was harassing livestock. Knowing there were dogs loose on the property, the tenant should have taken the appropriate measures to protect their chickens (and it would be pretty obvious if it was a dog who killed them, dogs leave a BIG mess when they go after chickens, because they are just killing for fun not for survival). They should talk to animal control, they should be able to do something.
  • Evelyn CummingsEvelyn Cummings Posts: 11,879Member
    Accepted Answer
    This is a tough one. Legally, the tenant has the same rights as the property owner to protect HIS chickens on property he is paying rent for, assuming landlord knew and approved the chickens being there. In this case, he does have a right to shoot the dog ASSUMING he catches it actually pursuing his chickens on property clearly defined as part of his rental lease. Furthermore, he ALSO must have said chickens reasonably confined while on the property he is paying to rent, and therefore, none of us can even speculate over this since we do not know if the chickens were or were not confined in a reasonable manner to keep the dogs out. In order to pursue this in a court of law, your friend would have to hire a lawyer who has handled these types of cases. A warrant of arrest can only be issued by a court of law so could only be done by working with either the police department OR a lawyer and the courts.
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