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I'm sorry this might be kind of long, but I want to get all the info out there.

My family has a sweet, loving, obedient 5-year-old pittie named Boomer. He has always been gentle and just overall a wonderful dog for us. He is healthy and fun loving - I just can't tell you how much we love him and how much a part of our family he is! He has been with us since he was four months old. We trained him and socialized him appropriately - he has always been just a big teddy bear!

We live in a suburban neighborhood. When our neighbors moved in two years ago, the husband (we can call him Mark) came over and told us that he was concerned for his family living next door to a "pit bull." They had three little kids, and he wanted to make sure our dog could not get out of our yard and would not be out front unleashed. He was polite, but of course I was a little taken aback that he had such breed bias. A few months ago, my husband was washing his car in the driveway with Boomer walking around on OUR property unleashed. Mark walked over within minutes and sternly asked that Boomer be leashed or taken into the house. I think my husband may have insulted him by saying Mark was "scared of a dog" but he did bring him back inside.

My neighbors have a house cat, but every once in a while it gets out, probably when one of their little kids leaves the door open on accident or something. Anyway, yesterday we left for a few hours and Boomer was in the yard. When we got home, I noticed he had blood on his muzzle and paws, and worried, I checked him over for injuries. I couldn't find any, but since it wasn't that much blood and he was acting normal, I let it go, thinking he may have bit his tongue or something.

Later on that evening, Mark's wife and kids came to the door and asked if we had seen their cat, because he had gotten out. I said no. After dinner, I went outside to take Boomer to go potty, and sadly I found a gruesome sight. A mangled and disemboweled cat on the side yard. It's neck was broken and it was very upsetting. It is the neighbor's cat.

Boomer has never done anything like this before and I am terrified to tell the neighbors that he killed their pet :( I know they already don't like pitties and will want him confiscated and euthanized. He is truly a loving dog and I don't know what got into him. I suspect the cat was teasing him and taunting him and he is still a dog. I have the cat in a bag in the garage and I have to make a choice asap. Do I just dispose of it and say nothing? Do I tell them what happened? Do I tell them I hit the cat with my car? My teenage sons want to just put the body of the cat in their front yard overnight and let them find it, thinking a wild animal got to it.

I do feel awful - they have put up fliers looking for the cat and obviously their kids are upset. Please help! I can't stand the idea of Boomer being taken or killed, but I want to do the right thing. What's done is done though, right?
 

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Of course local laws vary but I've never heard of a dog being confiscated and euthanised for killing another animal, those rules only apply if a dog bites a human.

Your dog is not dangerous, he is a predator, he has a prey drive. He saw a prey and went after it. Pit bulls are terriers, all terriers were bred to have prey drive. I have a yorkshire terrier I wouldn't leave him alone with a hamster. He has enough prey drive to decide to kill it.

Actually my cat did kill my hamster, that didn't make him a dangerous cat and killing a cat doesn't make your dog dangerous.

I would say this is like if your dog would have gotten out of the house and been hit by a car. A very unfortunate accident and nothing else.

Prey drive is not the same as aggression.

But you need to inform your neighbours of their cat's death in the very least.
 

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I can't say I know what I would do. And I don't know how this would work where you live. But the cat jumped into your garden. The dog was following it's instincts. As long as your garden is fenced off I don't think you can be held accountable, nor your dog.

As for letting the dog off leash in a neighborhood, I don't think it's responsible no matter the breed. I've had my own pets killed by off-leash dogs. A rabbit was killed in my garden, in his little house. A small dog was killed by two large dogs while out on a walk. And several times "friendly" dogs ran into our garden chasing our cats around, upturning our table in the process.
 

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This is heartbreaking and I'm very sorry for you. Honestly, I think you should consult a lawyer and the local animal control. I've never heard of a dog being put down because it killed a cat that came onto its property, but you might be able to be sued. Even so, I don't know if that will stand because again, it's your property the cat came onto, and not like your dog got loose and attacked. It's natural for dogs to go after cats. And it's clear this cat got out and went into your yard. Cats being killed by predators is the risk that happens when they're let out, by mistake or on purpose. Plenty of dogs will kill cats, and this does not mean he's dangerous to people. Many dogs see cats as prey, and they will act accordingly. It will be very difficult, but after you consult with some experts on your local laws and rights, you have to tell the neighbors. Don't do anything with the body, keep it and give it to them when you tell them. It IS possible Boomer will be put on a bite/rabies hold for your county, but that doesn't mean he will be put down. I'd just consult some people ASAP.
 

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I'm not an attorney, so the following is my opinion and only my opinion.

If your dog killed a neighbors pet, even though it may have been in your own yard, I would think you would and could be held responsible, probably not criminally but there would be some civil liability. If your neighbors child wound up in your yard, wrong as that may be, and your dog injured or killed the child, there would certainly be legal repercussions. Same with the cat, though because in the eyes of the law, the cat is property and not human, you can not be held criminally responsible. It would be a civil matter.
 

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Not sure what to say, just be extra cautious since he's a Pittie. No matter what, it's always the Pitties fault in the eyes of the general public/law. :(
I hate breed bias. I'm sorry you are going through this.
 

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I think it's really sad that the cat got killed, but your dog was in his backyard where he should be. If your neighbors are going to let their cat wander, it's bound to get eaten by something or hit by a car. That sounds bad, but it's the risk they take letting their cat out. That's why most rescues only adopt out cats as strictly indoor pets. To me, that's on them.
 

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I agree with wideturn. If you let a cat roam it's bound to get killed by something sooner or later. If it wasn't your dog it would be another dog, a coyote, a fisher cat, hit by a car, the list goes on. Cats go out all the time and don't come home. Your dog was in your yard.

Unfortunately your neighbors probably won't understand prey drive vs. aggression because they already have a bias and don't understand dog behavior. So that will be tough. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, but it's not going to be easy.
 

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The right thing to do is to tell them, but I am not sure if it was me That I would and here is my reasoning.

Your dog did nothing wrong, it killed a prey animal on your property, their animal was trespassing, and now your neighbors who are already biased have even more reason to hate your dog, what if they decide to hurt your dog while he is out in your yard? I have heard of neighbors poisoning dogs for less.

Tough situation, if you have the money consult a lawyer before speaking with them.
 

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Sadly it happens sometimes. I feel for you, I also feel for your neighbor. If one of my cats was killed I'd want to know. I've lost cats as a kid, it sucks. I've spent months looking and even to this day wondered what happened. I think the right thing to do is tell them. But being a pit and having them already biased, it's hard. I don't know if I'd be able to tell them my dog killed the cat. But they do need to know something happened. I don't think your dog will be taken. But make sure to have your rabies tag and dog licenses ready. Also don't be surprised if they try making trouble for you in the future. It sucks, I hope everything works out.

Also, I have no doubt your dog is friendly. This doesn't make him bad, some dogs have a higher prey drive than others. It could even have started as play and got out of hand. My mom has Scottish Terriers and her female can not be trusted with cats. I'd suggest not leaving your dog outside when no one is home. Too many things can happen.
 

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If you are in the US, then legally there's really nothing they can do. Any accusations wouldn't hold up in court. The dog was confined to your yard, so you were following the law. Their cat came onto YOUR property, where it didn't belong. I get that accidents happen and sometimes cats get out. But if blame has to be placed, it's on them for not containing their pet to their property.

As far as what to do, idk what to tell you. I may sound like a heartless jerk, but I personally would probably just dispose of it and forget about it. I want as little as possible to do with people who are irrational and dramatic like that, based on your previous encounters. Don't get me wrong, I would feel bad. But if they're going to be over the top and cause hell for me? Sorry. I guess not getting to know what happened to your cat is sort of what happens when you treat your neighbor like that. I can live with that. If I had another neighbor I trusted, I may pass it off and have them break the bad news that the cat was killed a block away and it "must have been a wild animal!".

That's just what I would do. Ultimately it's up to you and what your conscious tells you. You will have to live with the decision.
 

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^ this. These people seem like they are going to blow this whole thing out of proportion. Cats get out and never come back, for a host of reasons. I feel bad for them, and the kids, but personally I wouldn't say anything.
 

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I think if the neighbours were rational people and pleasant I would tell them. But I can just sense by your post that if you were to tell them all hell would break loose. Regardless if they have legal grounds or anything like that, it would be so much hassle living next to people for the foreseeable future knowing your dog had killed their cat. I'd also hate to imagine any ill will they'd wish upon your dog.

It's a difficult situation, I don't envy you! Hope it works out for you
 

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Your dog was being a dog, dogs are predators and unfortunately cats are often viewed as prey by them. I have 0 doubt that my two old dogs would have killed cats if they had ever caught one, as it was they came close a couple of times. One caught more then one rat and killed them, the other caught and killed a couple of rabbits.

I'm another that would dispose of the cat's body and not say anything. It may not be the most ethical thing to do, but considering the father already fears your dog I can only imagine how he would act should he find out the dog killed the cat. Legally he would not have a leg to stand on, his cat got into your backyard, your dog was not loose on the street mauling other people's pets.

In the future I'd keep your dog inside when you are not home to supervise outdoor time. I'd also always keep him on a long line when he's out in the front.
 

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I agree with some others, if they were rational and reasonable I would say something - But since they aren't, and it will cause a problem for you AND your dog - I would do anything I can to keep the dog out of the picture. I would probably just dispose of the cat and keep quiet, or if you must say something then place the cat somewhere off your property and THEN call the neighbor - "I found your cat, but...."

I don't know. I don't think people like that get to to determine the rules when they are clearly just going to make your life difficult.
 

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Ugh, what a bummer of a situation.

This may sound horrible, but you need to protect yourself and your dog. Your neighbor sounds irrational and I can't see him taking this well. Although I shouldn't assume from the limited information in your original post, I wouldn't put it past "Mark" to harm your dog in some way- or making life difficult for you by complaining to the home owners association/law enforcement involved. I remember when I was younger, we had a two dogs next door who constantly barked and killed at least two of the local cats. The owners went out of town once for about a week, and the dogs were shot. This was in a well off neighborhood, down the street from a top university. This wasn't a break in gone bad- one of the other home owners got fed up with the dogs and took matters into their own hands. I know this is an extreme story but unfortunately I don't think it is exclusive.

You can't know for sure that your dog killed the cat. He probably did, but you don't know. Even if he did, the cat was on your property and the dog treated it as prey. Honestly, it is "Mark's" fault for letting his cat out. I would be surprised if MOST dogs wouldn't chase down and kill a cat if they had the opportunity. This does not indicate aggression or any negative aspect of your pup's personality. I know this may be difficult, but try not to feel bad about it. My dog, Bear, once killed two chickens, and I felt horrible until their owner reassured my that he was just a dog being a dog.

Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like your neighbor will be this reasonable. I would advise you to tell him that you found the cat (do not specify where) and say that you believe he was either hit by a car or attacked by a fox. You could potentially move the body out of your yard and bring the family to him. They should know what happened to their cat but they do not need to know that you suspect that your dog did it! I would also keep a close eye on your pup for awhile, and not leave him outside unattended. Who knows if "Mark" will lash out, and you need to protect your family!
 

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That is a really difficult situation. I am really sorry.

I am a huge cat lover and if it were my cats I'd want to know. It is the right thing to tell them...

But... it is not a great situation to be in. It seems like your neighbor may not handle this well. There is probably no proof that the cat was actually killed in your back yard. They could say they saw your dog off leash before and it could turn into a huge he said she said.

There are also nut jobs who may lash out.

I don't think anyone can tell u what to do. But maybe an anonymous note saying that their cat was hit by a car on accident so they have peace of mind atleast.
 

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Putting aside the issue of the dead cat, sometimes I think this forum gets a bit too defensive about pit bulls. The neighbor initially showed concern that the dog go off leash in front of the house because of his three small children. Then the OP's husband had the dog off-leash in an unfenced front yard. His subsequent complaint was not unfounded or irrational, especially considering that the OP's dog has now mauled and killed his cat. I don't see this as a breed bias issue, and I think the labeling of him as being "irrational" or "unstable" or "biased" has been overdone in many of the responses.
 

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Idk, I still think it's a little over the top to go out of your way to confront your neighbors about an issue with their dog that hasn't even been an issue at that point. They hadn't even SEEN the dog off leash in the front, or escaping from the yard at that point. I own a breed that is often feared and the victim of breed specific discrimination in housing. Nobody knocks on my door asking if she's going to jump my 6 foot fence and bite them or kill their kids. That's not something rational people do unless they've seen the dog get out and see that there's actually potential for that to happen. If it were a cute breed, they probably wouldn't even be concerned then.

Nobody also has ever walked up to me when I had the border collie loose in my front yard so he could pee before we leave to go somewhere and told me to leash my dog. Most people, being rational, assume that since he's out, he must be civil and under verbal control. And they're correct. If somebody says something, it's "Wow, how'd you train him to not run away?" not "You need to leash your border please!".

So yeah, I don't think it's a stretch for me to get very suspicious that these people are being a tad irrational.
 
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