It’s a Dog’s World!

Shasta Vista is a dog’s paradise. There is lots of room to run around, and interesting sights and smells everywhere. Most of us have dogs here, and if we don’t, our neighbors surely do. Animal Control estimates that there are two dogs per person in Siskiyou County. That is a lot of dogs! We all need to understand what our rights and responsibilities are, whether we are dog owners, their neighbors, or both.

Siskiyou County requires all dog owners, or others who are caring for or have custody of one or more dogs, to license them. They will require proof of a current rabies vaccination for each dog. Your veterinarian may recommend other vaccinations, but only the rabies is required. The veterinarian who administers the rabies vaccination will give you a certificate and a tag. The certificate will be presented to Animal Control when you register your dog and pay the $10 annual license fee. The tag must always be attached to the dog’s collar or harness. It is a good idea to make sure people can find you if your dog becomes lost or injured. A tag or collar with the dog’s name and your phone number will do the trick. I like the information on the collar, because the lettering can be much larger, so it will be easier to read, and can be read from several feet away.

We are required by law to keep our dogs always on our properties, or under our control.
We cannot allow them to run loose, or to enter someone else’s property.

Dogs running loose, especially in packs, may be uncharacteristically aggressive to people, pets, or livestock. Siskiyou County code allows us to “kill any dog that is found in the act of killing, wounding, persistently pursuing or worrying livestock or poultry on someone else’s land. Any dog entering any enclosed or unenclosed property upon which livestock or poultry are confined may be seized or killed by the owner of the property, or by any employee of the owner or tenant”. A person may kill a dog if he can prove that “the dog was recently engaged in killing or wounding livestock or poultry on land that is not owned or possessed by the dog’s owner”. We cannot kill a dog simply for being on our property. A dog’s owner could bring legal action if his dog was shot without legal basis.

County code further states that “The court…may order the dog’s owner to compensate the owner of the farm for the cost of the damage done by the dog.” That could run into big bucks on nearby sheep and cattle ranches.

Your dog’s safety is at risk if he runs free. There are many blind hills and curves on our roads, and people often drive at unsafe speeds. Dogs may be bitten by rattlesnakes, attacked by other dogs or wildlife. Coyotes kill and eat dogs, and mountain lions are known to hunt in the subdivision.

Our community has seen a dramatic increase in human and dog population in the past few years. Some of us are still adjusting to the change. We can ease our growing pains a bit by being considerate of one another. Please keep your dog always on your property or under control. If a neighbor’s dog is trespassing on your property or otherwise causing concern, please talk to your neighbor about it.

Questions? Call Siskiyou County Animal Control 530-841-4025. Ask them to send you their brochure titled, “Livestock & Dogs Don’t Mix!!”

© Marjorie King All Rights Reserved

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