HomeAnimal RescueCat sheltersDog kills more than a dozen cats at a shelter


Dog kills more than a dozen cats at a shelter — 29 Comments

  1. Dee, the link Elisa provided in her comment and this news article, both say the dog in question is a pitbull.


    Personally, I’m shocked that the shelter have re-homed the dog. I hope I’m wrong, but with her proven potential for extreme aggression, I can’t help thinking that dog is a ticking time-bomb.

  2. I can’t find info that the dog was a pit. I felt, for sure, that it must have been a Jack Russell which is a supreme hunter. One at large killed more than 20 cats in my neighborhhood in a matter of 2 hours until she was rehomed far, far away (a home in the forest where hunting is supreme) by myself and a very grief-strickened neighbor. The “owner” didn’t even care enough to look for her.
    Can someone provide a link that this dog was a pit?

    • Rachel, I can remove them but I don’t mind them on the website. I think they are useful. Also, I don’t think anybody else minds them being there so if you don’t mind, can I please keep them on the website? I think the photographs add to the page. The reason why they are so big is because software enlarges them to fit the width of the comment box. It is just one of those technical things which I can’t do much about unfortunately.

  3. Michael,
    This is so sad, what a horrible way for these cats and kittens to die. I pray it was a horrible mistake and not done on purpose. If it was an accident I actually feel for the worker as well, he has to live with this, and we all make mistakes. I have 5 dogs and 7 cats so I don’t say that lightly.
    I can speak about this with firsthand experience. Pitbulls and bully breeds have a huge prey drive. It is not hunger or “aggression” but the thrill of the chase. If trained early enough this trait can be reduced or in some cases eliminated but it is their nature.

    I had an American bulldog that one day attacked my blind 14 year old cat. This was a family pet who slept with his head on my lap every morning. At no time during the attack did he seem intent on killing, he though it was all in great fun. I fought him for the cat and luckily I saved the cat but I was totally torn up. The cat had one bite on his tail. The bulldog had 2000.00 worth of training, but once he was in that zone, nothing else mattered.
    Dogs breeds have different traits, my Saint Bernards have never been a threat to my cats in any way, but we have another bulldog that I would not trust around the cats due to his prey drive and yet another pitbull/boxer that was raised with cats and poses no threat at all, she actually sleeps with them. All pitbulls aren’t bad, all dogs can bite, the difference is bully breed dogs do not give up, they have a very high prey drive and they are more likely and capable of doing severe damage.
    So much sadness all the way around in the shelter situation. Thank you for your reports, I found this because I am a supporter of Justice for Tiger.

    • Thank you Rachel. I have learned something about dogs and certainly quite a bit about pitbull terriers. I would have thought that if a pitbull is in an animal rescue facility extra care should be taken to make sure that the dog is kept away from the cats. I’m pleased that you are a supporter of Justice for Tiger. Nice to meet you 😉

      The photographs are horrendous. I know that these dogs are dangerous because they are very strong and as you say very driven. They can be quite frightening in fact.

  4. What seems to be overlooked is that many shelters rescue fighting dogs whose sole purpose is to kill. The owners use other animals to train the killers, including cats. It hasn’t anything to do with hunger. Sadly, that training can’t be undone and these dogs can’t conform to society. I don’t quite understand the circumstances, but am inclined to think that this may have been deliberate.

  5. I’m sorry, but a dog (of any breed) that is so animal-aggressive or demonstrates such a high prey-drive is too risky to rehome as it could attack a young child. That’s a dog that should be put down so that it doesn’t deprive a better-natured dog of a home.

    Those female cats would have died trying to defend their kittens.

    • I agree with you. There must have been better dogs from the point of view of human companion at this shelter who were put down as it was “their turn”.

  6. As many people are of the opinion that the dog’s behaviour was primarily driven by extreme hunger, one has to ask, why aren’t the shelter being questioned about that aspect of this horrible tragedy?

    It’s easy to place all the blame on the person who didn’t lock-up correctly, but if the ‘hunger’ defence is true, then perhaps if the dog hadn’t been starving those attacks may never have happened? I know shelters are stretched, but taking in more animals than they can adequately feed is not always in the best interests of the animals themselves.

    There no mention of the cat’s backgrounds, but imagine if an owner recognises one of the photos as their recently ‘missing’ cat 🙁 How on earth are they going to feel?

    I hope that dog warrants the trust the shelter have in her, because she’s getting a second chance at life that none of those poor kittens or cats got. Can someone update us on how the surviving cat is doing? I’d like to think she’s already in a new home where she can feel safe and recover from her physical and mental trauma.

    • Michele I just watched a video and reporter says “a pitbull out”. They had a dangerous dog by UK standards in the shelter.

      • Michael: I’d read yesterday that it was a pit-bull. I accept that a large, powerful dog can inflict more serious injuries than a small dog, but I’m still of the opinion that aggression isn’t breed specific.

        The Dangerous Dogs Act has failed to prevent dog attacks. Mainly because it focused on specific breeds, rather than the behaviour of individuals. The UK government has recently tightened up the laws concerning owners’ control of their dogs. It’s now a criminal offence for any dog (regardless of breed) to be dangerously out of control in any place, including the owner’s home.

        I know some US states have strict laws regarding ownership of pitbulls, so the dog in question was very fortunate to be at a shelter who were willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. She would not have made it out of a UK shelter alive. It’s illegal here to rehome pitbulls, so those who end up at shelters are 99% guaranteed to be euthanised. Responsible owners however, will quickly be reunited with their dogs, because they will be microchipped and registered on the ‘exempt’ list.

        Given that this dog only arrived at the shelter a few weeks ago, it worries me that they can be so certain this extreme behaviour was a one-off.

  7. I used to work for the police department here, and a uniformed officer would have to be a total screw-up to even get reprimanded. The police department/animal control officer in this story obviously was.

  8. If this dog was a pit bull, this would be another example as to why most of the mauling and killing is not attributed to them, and therefore bolsters the deceptive or naive claims that the breed type isn’t as bad as the rest of us think. They are under-reported. If the claim that the “could be any” dog was competing for food, then there would be no harmony in any household with multiple pets. Furthermore it glosses over the fact that this breed type characteristic is that it attacks out of nowhere unprovoked, and needs no reason other than to carry out what it’s pre-disposed to do. The war cry that they are unfairly maligned is a smoke-screen, and the intimidation tactic to stop identifying aggressive dogs at all is part of the same strategy. No mention of the dog type here, so I suspect that’s why.

    • It’s not the breed of the dog which worries me, but the level of aggression displayed. Under certain circumstances, many dogs may react aggressively towards cats but they don’t kill them.

      The dog may have already been rehomed to a family without cats, but I’m concerned as to whether this dog is going to receive obedience training to ensure it doesn’t attack another animal or person. Uncontrolled aggression is not a desirable character trait in a family pet.

    • There’s no mention of dog breed because it doesn’t matter. There’s no conspiracy to downplay attacks. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. Attacks by non bully breeds are generally not reported as often because it doesn’t grab headlines. Who wants to report on a chihuahua attack? FYI, the most aggressive dogs in my neighborhood are goldens. 100% of the blame goes to the owners, not the breed.

      • I think you are right. I’m not sure this is about the breed. It is more likely that the dog was a random bred dog, isn’t it? The conditions under which this dog found herself added to the stress I suppose and perhaps she was fed rather poorly; I don’t know. She went in search of food and her instincts kicked in for survival. That is the way I see it anyway.

      • If I could guess at the dog breed, it wouldn’t be a chow, pitbull, or rottweiler. It would have to be, unbelievably, a Jack Russell. That breed are hunters, and without discipline, they will kill many, many cats. One killed about 12 of mine. I love dogs, but I will take any free-roaming Jack Russell to a shelter. They can be vicious and, even, nearly ripped off the face of my neighbor’s infant.

        • Elisa, could you please tell me why the cats in quarantine were not in cages? Perhaps this is totally normal. I’m not that I am not au fait with the arrangements within shelters but it would interest me as to why this dog had access to all the cats in quarantine. Perhaps the discussion on changes in policy may address this issue.

          • I think the others who have been to the shelter will know more than I do. I’m just the messenger these days. Shelters all over the country are having problems but North Carolina is among the worst. This is the same shelter Suzy’s Zoo spent more than $2000 trying to save a sick kitten from there.

        • Many thanks for that update Elisa. It had seemed to me as though everything was being done to whisk the dog away to safety, whilst the sole survivor of that massacre was having to remain at the shelter. Glad to hear she’s currently in foster care. I hope she’s found a permanent and loving home very soon.

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