San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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February 15th, 2012
Animal shelter euthanizes dogs accused of killing 12 chickens


A yellow lab/pit bull mix and a black lab were euthanized at the City of San Marcos’ regional animal shelter late Tuesday after the animals reportedly killed 12 chickens in Wimberley.

On Feb. 9 at about 6:21 p.m., sheriff’s deputies arrived at the 500 block of Wimberley Oaks Drive in Wimberley in response to a dog-related complaint. Upon arrival at the residence, deputies reportedly found 12 dead chickens. The homeowner reported he had shot the black lab but only injured it. The livestock killings were recorded on a game camera the owner said he installed due to previous attacks.

Later that evening, the same two animals reportedly attempted to re-enter the chicken coop and were scared away by the homeowner. Sheriff’s Office animal control officers located the injured dog the next morning and took it to the San Marcos animal shelter. The yellow lab was located on Monday and also taken to the shelter. Officers located the owner, Scott Pate of Wimberley, and Pate reportedly released custody of the animals willingly. Officers reported Pate said the yellow mix had attacked his family’s dachshund and he expressed relief the animal would be taken. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the black lab was abandoned by a renter who lived next door to Pate.

Hays County’s animal control ordinance requires the dog owner (or certain authorities) to kill a dog found to have attacked livestock.

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6 thoughts on “Animal shelter euthanizes dogs accused of killing 12 chickens

  1. Anyone with a dog needs to take the responsibility to train and control that dog. Does your dog come when called?
    How is it that you don’t know where your dog is?
    I live in Hays county and have had my cats, kittens, chickens killed by irresponsible neighbors letting their dogs run loose.
    Actually on my street, people shoot dogs they find killing livestock.
    I support the law as it is.
    I have dogs who are trained to come when called and to stay in their yard.
    Sorry for your loss, but the owners are the only ones responsible.
    I thought rescue organizations required fenced yards for the dogs they place?
    What rescue group placed Angel with a family that couldn’t control her?
    Suck it up, invest in training your dog….they need to be trained…
    The laws are there for dumb dog owners who don’t bother to keep track of what there dogs are doing.
    Until you have had a chicken or pet killed by careless neighbor’s dog….you will never understand why we have the law.

  2. Absolutely agree. As a dog lover I feel so sorry for these dogs and other animals. But I find these dog owners totally irresponsible. I think that people should pass some psychological tests before adopting animals. Because only we are responsible for those we have tamed.

  3. I agree, except the dogs are being punished, and not the owners. It would be great if these dogs could have been housed at the shelter, at the owner’s expense, and placed in new homes, with the original owner footing the bill for some training. As it stands, the dogs are dead, and I see little to discourage the owner from repeating the same mistakes. In fact, it appears that he still has at least one dog.

    Unfortunately, there are probably already too many strays for the shelter to place, so it is not likely that there is any other practical solution here.

    I’ve also read conflicting reports about whether the law requires the dogs to be put down, or allows for the dogs to be put down. I’d be curious to see the exact wording.

  4. Hi Ted,

    Looks like state law requires offending dogs to be killed — but only if a local animal control authority requires it.

    The law requiring the dogs to be killed can be found in the Hays County ordinances here (it’s a .pdf download from the county’s website):

    The state statute governing the treatment of dogs found to have killed livestock can be found in the Health and Safety Code Chapter 822.013(d) here:

    The statute requires the dog owner to comply with the relevant rules imposed by the “local animal control authority.”

    I’ve edited the article to say *county* law requires offending dogs to be killed, since before we seemed to be saying the law requires all offending dogs in Texas to be killed without exception. Thanks for helping to clarify this.

  5. This should play out interestingly at election time. Another article says Will Conley is trying to change the county ordinance, and seems to imply that the dogs weren’t supposed to be put down so quickly. It appears to place responsibility with Cutler, then later states that nobody seems to know who gave the actual order.

  6. animal control came and took my dog and said that he had killed 12 of my neighbors chickens, i did not know that my dog was killing livestock because every time i would call him he would come running back with no sign of chicken on him. it was the first time he had been in trouble with the pound, and they put him down are they allowed to do that in nzl???? PLEASE REPLY(

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