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I agree with JudyG. The family needs to know that their cat has died. It's not fair to them to let the family continue to search and worry about their pet. The whole "bury the cat and pretend that nothing happened" slant of this thread concerns me.

I don't think that Mark was at all irrational for being upset that the dog was off leash in the unfenced front yard. I'm not willing to bet that the dog's recall was 100%. With its high prey drive, Boomer could have easily run off in pursuit of the neighbor's cat that day.

Brushing off the neighbor's concerns does not make one a good ambassador for the breed.
Agreed.
 

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I would not tell them. Here is why:
My dogs are more important to me then any other animal.
So, as I tried to explain earlier, if it was the other way around & it was your much loved dog missing & someone knew he was dead you would think it fine to keep that information from you & let you forever worry what had happened to your dog!!?? This cat was someone's much loved pet!! Yes, the cat is partly at fault for straying onto the OP property, but it's completely wrong to just pretend to know nothing when the cat owner is so worried. The worst that will happen is the (already strained) relationship with the neighbour will be ruined & the OP may get a warning, no one will have the dog euthanised because I'm sure as the law stands cats straying onto another property are fair game. Thankfully the balance on this forum appears to be for honesty & fairness. @agilty collie mom, that is a heartbreaking story, I'm sorry about your cat :huddle:
 

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i think telling them the dog killed the cat, would cause to much agro, "Mark" will just pick on every little thing from then on where the dog is concerned, and will probably not let it rest. it would all come to a head eventually. tell them the cat is dead, but tell them a little white lie how, to keep the peace.
 

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My main concern for the OP is the thought of retailiation. It is awful that the neighbour 's cat got killed, and I feel that they probably should know, but it's a very awkward position to be in, for everyone.
Putting aside anything extreme (like throwing over poison food or anything, I'm hoping someone who has children is above such actions), I feel as though this neighbour could be a real thorn in your side, in terms of reporting that your dog got out, or is a nuisance barker etc.
if you feel the neighbour could be rational, it might be worth talking over. If not, I might mention you saw a dead cat on the road. Either way, I wouldn't leave your dog outside if you can help it anymore.
 

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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.
Do you trust every owner who lets the dog off leash? I don't like dogs off leash. As I said earlier, I've had two pets killed by off leash dogs. One in my own garden, the other a leashed dog. I've had unleashed dogs, two times, run into our garden because they smelled our cats, chasing them around with the obvious intent of killing them. And when one of our cats attacked the dog back, it's owner yelled at us. He came onto our property and yelled at us because his dog attacked our cat and got scratched back.

My own cat attacked a small dog for walking past our house when she had kittens. It was not the dogs fault, nor the owners fault, nor my cats fault. It was my parents fault for forcing the cat to be outside with her kittens. Her instincts to defend her kittens kicked in.

Also, fear of dogs in general is a very common thing. If I see people are afraid of my dog, I reel her in close to me. Away from them. It's just a matter of being considerate.

Sorry for going off topic here by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Thanks everyone. I still haven't decided what to do. I did talk to an attorney friend, and he said they would not be able to have our dog removed for killing a cat on our own property, but that if our dog ever DID bite someone, or attack an animal outside of our property, this incident could be used to make a case against him being "inappropriate for a suburban environment."

I also feel I do need to clear things up - Mark and his wife are decent neighbors. He has always been polite to us, it's just clear he does not want his family to come into contact with Boomer. This is probably because of his breed bias, and also because in the last year there have been two truly unfortunate pittie maulings of young children in our small town. Unfortunately this has made A LOT of the locals agitated. Now, our Boomer has NEVER attacked a person (our boys were 10 and 13 when we got him and he was nothing but playful!)

Obviously I have to do something about the cat because I can't have the body in my garage much longer. I do want to do the right thing (it breaks my heart to see the kids posting signs and calling for their kitty all day), but I also don't want to stir up any more mess or, God forbid, retaliation. Mark is a physician, and I don't see him doing anything atrocious to us or Boomer, but certainly this won't make for friendly neighbor relations! As a Christian, I am so opposed to lying, but at this point it's been two days and I have already lied. Cats go missing all the time, I know they didn't let their cat out on purpose, but it happens, right?

If I tell them, should I offer to pay for a new cat? Should I offer a financial gift as a way of saying I am sorry? I know we put a lot of money into our pets so maybe that would help alleviate some of the burden?

To those who say Boomer shouldn't be in the yard unsupervised... I do leave him outside during the day when we are not home, if it's just a few hours, as our fence is high, and locked, and when left in the house he can be destructive including chewing furniture and urinating on the rugs.
 

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Almost everyone on my street has unleashed dogs in their front yard. I don't think anyone has ever had a problem. Levi is almost always off-leash in my front yard. Heidi is on a tie out, mainly because she's not quite ready yet. We have kids, old people, big dogs, and little dogs. I don't think I've ever seen anyone tell anyone to put their dog on a leash.
 

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I can honestly see both sides here. It's fair for him to be concerned - no one likes breed bias but when you're bombarded with those messages constantly it can be difficult to not be at least a little wary. I think the best way to be a good neighbor here is to make sure your dog stays on your own property and let your neighbors know that while their concerns may be unfounded in the case your particular dog, you're still willing to accommodate them. And anyway, regardless of breed, it's best to keep your dogs supervised and secured.

It sounds like you're doing all of this anyway, so I don't think you're out of line. But there are many out there who are just not respectful when it comes to their dogs.

In regards to the cat, you found it so you really do have to say something. What you say is up to you. You don't KNOW that it was your dog that killed the cat - any number of things could have happened. But I would tell him you found the kitty. If you want to offer some sort of money that's up to you - since there are children in the household you could say you feel terrible that they had to lose a pet and ask if there's anything you can do. If they outright ask you if it was your dog just be honest - you really don't know for sure.

However, I'd be very, very careful with leaving your dog outside when alone, especially as you've had incidents in your town. It may seem totally secure but people do incredibly crazy things. When my dad was younger, he had a dog -- a perfectly friendly, well behaved dog -- that he left in the yard while he ran to the store. In the 20 minutes he was gone, someone tossed hamburger with glass in it over the fence for the dog to eat. No idea why, but he ended up losing the dog.
 

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@BoomerLove, with all that new information you sound like a really caring person & I totally sympathise with your dilemma. I'm kind of backtracking now, but I think you should go with the 'I found your cat, but sadly he's died' line (they deserve to know) Like you, I really don't like lying, but again, you're right, I think as you didn't own up right away it's going to be tricky to do so now. However, please learn from this, keep Boomer safe & keep other animals safe (this is not a breed issue by the way, if any dog had killed a cat I would say the same, my dog was attacked by a Jack Russell terrier) keep him leashed when out front & try to build bridges with your neighbour. :huddle:
 

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BoomerLove,

Thanks for coming back with an update, and I hope that you'll share with us what you finally decide to do. You are in a very difficult position, and I know that you deeply care about this situation.

Given that there have been two recent cases of local children being hurt by pit bulls, it's not surprising that Mark has been concerned about the safety of his young children.

One of the suggestions given has been to leave the body somewhere so that the family might find it and conclude that a wild animal attacked it. I'm concerned, though, that Mark's children or their friends might come across its managed body and be traumatized.

I might suggest that you and your husband call Mark and his wife and arrange to talk with them away from their children. Tell them the truth and give them the cat's body wrapped in a cloth in a box. Express your deep sorrow about the loss of their pet and assure them that you will supervise Boomer at all times. I share your faith, and even though this might seem the hardest path to take, being honest, remorseful, and sympathetic will help to make this situation better. I think Mark will respect you for taking responsibility.
 

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So, as I tried to explain earlier, if it was the other way around & it was your much loved dog missing & someone knew he was dead you would think it fine to keep that information from you & let you forever worry what had happened to your dog!!?? This cat was someone's much loved pet!! Yes, the cat is partly at fault for straying onto the OP property, but it's completely wrong to just pretend to know nothing when the cat owner is so worried. The worst that will happen is the (already strained) relationship with the neighbour will be ruined & the OP may get a warning, no one will have the dog euthanised because I'm sure as the law stands cats straying onto another property are fair game. Thankfully the balance on this forum appears to be for honesty & fairness. @agilty collie mom, that is a heartbreaking story, I'm sorry about your cat :huddle:
If the person was reasonable and not judgemental, then yes, of course I would tell them. Her neighbor seems like an angry individual who I would not want to give the chance or reason to hurt my dog. This is just my take.
 

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Shandula - It is quite unusual to see unleashed dogs in my suburban neighborhood. Maybe there are perhaps regional differences. I'm not really sure.
 

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Shandula - It is quite unusual to see unleashed dogs in my suburban neighborhood. Maybe there are perhaps regional differences. I'm not really sure.
There definitely could be! It depends on the neighbourhood in the city as well. We love on a dead end street without a ton of traffic (both vehicle and pedestrian) so that could definitely play a role.
 

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If the person was reasonable and not judgemental, then yes, of course I would tell them. Her neighbor seems like an angry individual who I would not want to give the chance or reason to hurt my dog. This is just my take.
Have you not read her recent post? The OP states that the neighbour is actually a decent guy. As someone else also posted, not everyone is a dog lover, some people for whatever reason are scared of dogs & you have to admit pitties have a bad reputation (not always founded, but they are a tough breed!) I would also be bloody angry if any dog attacked any of my pets & quite rightly so, but to hide away from the situation is cowardly. I once had a neighbour who had a very aggressive Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (not known as a dangerous breed I'm sure you'll agree) I had to ask her to keep her on a lead as she went for my dog every time we met. I love all creatures, but I also have to protect my own, does that make me unreasonable?
 

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our dog is not a pittie, but being a molosser mix we've dealt with some bias too.
I can imagine that this isn't simple.
As long as the dog is safely fenced, you are allowed to leave your dog in your garden and it is the neighbour's job to keep their pets out of your yard. so by law (at least in my country) you'd probably be in the right.
plus prey drive is part of the nature of a dog. it doesn't mean that the dog is dangerous towards humans (I'd not let him run around outside without a leash though)

I'd still tell them. we lost a cat, when we were young and even though she hated us children, i was pretty sad when she went missing. I think it is easier to understand for a child that the cat died, because its family allowed for it to run away than waiting for weeks and weeks and still hoping that the cat comes back.
I'd probably ask someone (for example another neighbour that both of you know and get along with) to help you and keep the discussion as rational and polite as possible.
 

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I gave the situation to my eleven-year-old nephew and asked him what he thought should be done, and he immediately answered that the dog owner should tell the truth and apologize. Then I gave him all of the various suggestions offered on this thread, and his answer was the same.

Boomerlove, if Mark is willing, you could take him to your back and side yards and show him your fencing and where you found his cat. Of course, don't have Boomer with you.
 

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I haven't read every response here, but I wish to add my 2 cents.

I did lose my cat, Shayle, a few years ago. She went outside and never came back. To know that she was dead would have hurt...hurt...hurt... But...my heart was utterly shredded by the fact that I never found out what happened to her. In my head, without wishing too... I was envisioning her taking days to die along side a road after being hit by a car, or being eaten alive by some hawks/eagles/owl's chicks, or still alive while a coyote tore away at her.
As much as I wanted her back home and alive, I also would have wanted to know she was dead no matter how it happened. The not knowing left me in tears more often and for a much longer time span than I have ever Ever grieved for a pet of mine that has died.

!PLEASE Do Not Withhold the fact that their cat is dead to them!

If you must fib a bit to keep the peace do so, but let them know the cat is dead.
If the fliers have their address on it...so that anyone could find their home...leave an anonymous note on the back of one of the fliers - mail it to them in an envelope without your address on it...or if you think they don't have a security camera watching their yard...deliver it yourself to their door when they are not home.

Tell them a fib if you must...tell them you are from a near by neighborhood and that a few days prior to finding the flier, you ran the cat over, then later that day after going home and getting a shovel and going back to the cat..you buried it along side the road. Then, again, say later you saw the flier...but that you still wish to remain anonymous, but you felt that they should know their cat is dead and buried....and you are so sorry and sad you can't face them.

If the fliers don't have a home address on them, tell them some other fib via a note

That lie would be better than not telling them, in my opinion, given the fact that the neighbor already had his hackles up about living next door to a pit.

It would keep you off the neighbor's sh!t list too if they are vindictive. As have some said, the neighbors might not handle it well, and you could find your dog poisoned, or yourself fighting a small claims lawsuit, or defending your dog in court with the neighbors trying to have the courts get rid of it.

No matter how, find a way to tell them. I understand your need to protect your dog, and as you stated the cat came into your yard, then that was an unfortunate event...but your neighbors might not see it that way....still...they shouldn't have to live with the heartache of not knowing what happened to their cat.

I'm so very sorry that both you and the neighbor are going through this...it can't be easy for either of you.

Stormy
 

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Some of the replies in here are frightening. If your beloved dog was dead, and you were looking for it...And your neighbor down the street knew what happened...would you not want to know?
Unfortunately some people believe in an eye for an eye and that puts this dog at risk. By telling this particular man the the dog killed the cat even if it was in the op,s back yard will not make a difference with this person. It will just confirm what he already believes about this breed. It could cause real problems in this neighborhood. My cat was attacked in my neighborhood and it cost me $2000.00 to save his life. I did not blame the dog no matter the breed it was my fault for having cat I let out side. I don't think this man will feel the same. I believe the dogs life will be at risk.
 
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