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Discussion Starter #1
The website says it all. The cat belonged to a close friend of mine. I hope I'm not breaking any forum rules - dont think so.

Please take into account this incident happened in the UK where its the norm to let cats outside and that they have a legal right to roam.

Pandora Campaign

The website is still in development ;)
 

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Cat entered dogs yard I think. However - the fence was inadequate and broken and also the law in the UK states that cats can go anywhere they please (so dog owners cant say cat was trespassing).

Regardless of that - the fact is, the dogs had been aggressive beforehand and if only people had reported it they could have been dealt with sooner. It was a cat they attacked and killed. But it could have been a child. As I say, the fence surrounding their garden is inadequate and broken allowing dogs to roam all over the place if they wish.

And lets be honest, a cat entering their yard is no justification for what happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I knew Pandora personally - not yet 3 years old :(
 

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It is no justification, however, I feel that the difference makes the two issues unrelated. The website says that had the incidents been reported, the owners may have been forced to repair and improve their fence - something which I'd like to clarify, I think is awesome. Dogs should be properly contained for the safety of others and of themselves. - a higher fence, however, would not have kept the cat out. Cats jump and climb. This is one of the considerations of having an indoor/outdoor cat. Another clarification, and I know I'm going to catch heat for it, Miss M is an indoor/outdoor cat. I've weighed the pros and cons and do not feel the risk factors are not great enough to keep her from coming and going as she pleases. That said, if she jumped into a yard with cat killing dogs, while I'd be upset obviously, it would no more be the fault of the dogs and/or their owners than it would be the fault of the driver if she walked out in front of a car. Which I feel should be taken into account, I understand the cat had the legal right to roam, but that includes roads. Would this be looked at the same way if she'd walked into the road and a driver had been unable to stop? The dogs are being villainized for doing what is in their nature. They did not know she was a pet. They only saw prey. The other thing to take into account is that this is the same logic that bird lovers use when they try to make cats look bad for killing birds. The bird is a wild animal therefore it has the right to be there. It's the cat that's the issue. In reality, neither is the issue. It is simply the way in which nature works. The cat has no more ill intent in killing that bird than the dogs had in killing Pandora.

Again, I feel terrible for the loss of Pandora, but feel that the way this is worded is dangerous. The majority of the links on the site regarding dog attacks are German Shepard based. There is one directly about a German Shepard, one of on an Alsatian type dog (a breed heavy in German Shepard), and a slew of flat out Alsatians. We certainly don't need anymore breed-specific legislation. I also find it interesting that for a newer, somewhat rare breed, there are so many Alsatians mentioned. It is much like Pitbulls in the US. If I see a dog and it so much as looks at me funny, let alone shows aggression, it must be a pitbull.

I'm probably coming off soapboxy, but my point being, well this is important to know and does bring up two important facts:

1. Dogs should be adequately contained.
2. Aggressive bites from ANY animal should be reported.

At the end of the day, this was a horrible, terrible, tragedy, but not necessarily the fault of the dogs, their owners, dogs in general.
 

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Sorry, but dogs arent supposed to see cats as 'prey' - my dogs would never have acted that way. Would you put forward the same argument if the victim was a human? They also have a proven record of aggression towards humans. And thats the real point here - their previous behaviour should have been reported and wasnt - with tragic consequences. Sure it was a cat this time - could easily been a child. This isnt about any indoor/outdoor issues (my cat is mostly indoor but does go outside at weekends) its about people reporting dog attacks.

As regards to most of the dog attacks being German Shephard based - well thats hardly surprising given the owners personal experience - but I do agree other breed examples should be added to give some balance.

I also agree its not the dogs fault - but its most definitely the owners in this example as the dogs in general are left outside in the yard all the time and never exercised properly. No wonder they feel angry. Pandoras owners dont want anything to happen to the dogs - but they want the owner to take responsibility and restrain/look after their animals properly.
 

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I agree with you that the dogs should have been better restrained. However, I still disagree on a few key points:

1. Prey Drive - It is quite natural for a dog to want to go after a cat. It's prey drive. Some smaller dogs may not naturally go for a cat, but to a GSD a cat is just the right size prey item. Dogs do not necessarily eat cats, but they do go after them as prey. The average well-fed, human loved dog doesn't not necessarily know what to do with its prey once it kills it. I feel the need to bring it up because it's often brought up in dog attacks on cats. "The dog didn't even eat it. This wasn't prey drive. It was malice." My dogs wouldn't behave this way either. As a matter of fact when Miss M and Miss O showed up in September of last year, it was the cats, who were still kittens and sickly, scrawny ones at that, that would go after the dogs. However, I have no illusions about why my dogs would not behave this way. I have taught them not to go after cats. I've conditioned them to accept cats and reinforced with a strong 'leave it'. Even so, I see the gleam in their eyes occasionally and the perked up ears and with stiff posture and craned necks when they see an unknown cat. They may not charge, but they definitely notice. I remind them to leave it and they snap out of it and look back to me for further instruction. It doesn't happen often, but it happens.

Two examples of their conditioning would be:

1. F's first encounter with an unknown cat. I stopped to talk to my neighbor and his cat wondered up. I felt immediate tension from F. I looked down at her and gave a firm 'leave it' command. She immediately sat and turned away from the cat. She continued to ignore the cat even when the cat decided to prod her by walking right up to her and poking at her and then proceeding to stalk her. Should I have been held responsible if my dog had gone at the cat that literally walked right up to her? Again, the reason this cat didn't end up with a good bite is not because F did not want to go for her, but because I have conditioned her to look to me for instructions. I said 'leave it' and she left it.
2. When the girls came home, F and S were brought out to start intros. They gave a casual sniff to the air, acknowledging that there was something there, and then walked about ten feet away and dropped into a down position. Why? They've been conditioned to do so.

The dogs in this scenario had owners that either did not know or did not care to teach their dogs to curb their prey drive, or have a prey drive so high - because that does need to be taken into account as well, different dogs have different levels of prey drive - that no amount of conditioning would have saved any cat with which they came into contact. The point that I am trying to make with this is that there was not a moment in which the dogs said, "Hey, wouldn't it be fun to kill the neighbor's cat." They simply saw a prey item well within their reach and reacted. The same thing would have happened to a squirrel, a rabbit, a bird, etc.

The other point where I disagree is in the need for any type of legislation. While the dogs should have been and hopefully will be - before something worse happens - properly fenced, the cat was in their yard. In this particular scenario, we are not talking about a dog at large. And regardless of what the law says about cats, I'm not calling it trespassing. The law in the UK regarding cats is common sense, IMO. What I am saying, is that every time we open the door to let our cats out, me included, we do so with the risk that they will not come home or that they will come home injured.

I also disagree on the effectiveness of reporting the incident. I do agree that any incident involving serious aggression should be reported, but do not feel that the reports would have saved Pandora. She was a cat. A sturdier, taller fence would not have kept her from entering the neighbor's yard nor would it have changed the dogs' reactions when they came into contact with her.

I stink at wording things, so my intention is probably not coming across clearly, and I probably look like a rambling fool, but what I'm trying to get across is that I fail to see how, as tragic as Pandora's death is, this particular incident relates to the issues these dogs have and why this particular case is a call to action.
 

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Unfortunately this is the chance we take when we let our cats go outdoors. For me I can't do that. There has always been too many dangers-cars, people, other animals, nature, diseases, etc. I value what they give to me too much more than their desire to go outdoors. I wish they could go out but it is too dangerous. I went thru the same thing losing my cats for many years, but know they stay inside.

Kathy
 

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So sad...similar thing happened to my neice's cat Garfield. Neighbor's 3 big dogs jumped the fence and came into my family's yard and killed him right in front of my Mom. Mom tried to get to the door to let Garfield in the house, but she doesn't move very fast these days and the dogs got to Garfield first. These same dogs killed my neice's rabbit some time before that, in the back yard. They live in a rural area in Texas with no leash laws, although they could have sued over the rabbit, but not the cat apparently. In TX you can sue over killed farm animals / livestock for value of the animal and all the offspring the animal could have produced. I guess the only good thing that came was that some other neighbors complained to the owner and he got rid of the dogs, eventually. Now my neice has a formerly feral calico named kalie-cat.
 

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That is so sad. Poor Pandora and her owners. It is such a great idea for them to be spreading awareness about reporting incidents. I can't believe the people who ended up in hospital didn't report it.

I'm a huge advocate for ensuring pets that may be a danger to people/other pets should at the very least be kept where they cannot injure others. That being said though, sometimes even dogs that are not 'dangerous' dogs will not tolerate cats in their yard and I also feel that these dogs should not be punished for protecting their territory. If a dog is a general danger, as the dogs in Pandora's case are yes, something should be done.

When I was younger, we had a dog for many years. He was the most beautiful dog and absolutely loved any person he met and got along well with other dogs that he met. However, he didn't like cats. When he was a puppy, we didn't have cats. No one around us had cats so he wasn't socialised with them. We got a cat years later (he would have been about 10) and the cat went into the back yard once - we're very lucky we were home and my Mum was outside to see that the dog had the cat pinned down on the ground. We got the cat away from him and the cat learned to NOT go in the yard. I know that with socialisation, dogs and cats can get along really well but if your family doesn't wish to have a cat, it can sometimes be hard to get that socialisation while the dog is young and more accepting. If my cats were outside and they got attacked in someone else's yard by their dog, I would blame myself as I don't expect all dogs to accept a strange cat in their yard. As I said earlier though if the dogs already have a history of being dangerous, it is different.
 

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So sad...similar thing happened to my neice's cat Garfield. Neighbor's 3 big dogs jumped the fence and came into my family's yard and killed him right in front of my Mom.
Not similar at all, Pandora went into the dogs' territory.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Not similar at all, Pandora went into the dogs' territory.
No. Pandora went somewhere she was perfectly entitled to go. I know it might be a bizarre concept in the US, but cats can go ANYWHERE they like in the UK. What happened is in no way, shape or form the fault of either the cat or her owners.

However - this isnt really about the cat. Or indeed the wretched indoor/outdoor issue.

Its about people needing to report attacks by animals so that the residents are aware that there are dangerous dogs, for example, they can take steps to stop this sort of thing happening. In this case, my friend would not have let his cats out unless he knew that steps had been taken to restrain the dogs.

Thats the real message. There had been attacks -but seeing as no-one had reported them people were not aware of how dangerous these particular dogs are.

The RSPCA has now become involved as the dogs owners do tend to neglect them. With any luck, the dogs will be taken from her and adopted by people who will look after the poor things properly. No-one wants to seem them destroyed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm a huge advocate for ensuring pets that may be a danger to people/other pets should at the very least be kept where they cannot injure others. That being said though, sometimes even dogs that are not 'dangerous' dogs will not tolerate cats in their yard and I also feel that these dogs should not be punished for protecting their territory. If a dog is a general danger, as the dogs in Pandora's case are yes, something should be done.
This is worth highlighting. These dogs have proven to be a general danger to the public. Pandoras death just happened to be the event that brought it to light.

If my friend had known about the dogs, he would never had let them out. He has two other cats who havent been out of the house since.
 

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I think we're being misunderstood, at least I think I am. It's not indoor/outdoor. Again, I let my cat out. I'd be a hypocrite if I went on some tirade about the evils of letting a cat out, but that aside there are consequences to that decision. It's the fact that if you let your cat out - which once again I do - you do so with the knowledge that something like this can happen, just as if you choose to never let the cat out, you do so understanding that as a consequence you have to be mindful of providing sufficient mental and physical stimulation. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction. We make choices, and as a result things play out as they play out. It's great that the law says cats are entitled to go where they please, but the dog doesn't know that fact. The dog is not going to say well the law says I have to let this cat in my yard. The dog is going to see something relatively small and furry in its reach and go for it. Do all dogs do this? No. Again some dogs have naturally low prey drives, and other dogs have owners that understand that unchecked prey drive can be an issue and use training and conditioning to curb it.

Also on the small and fury note, the dog doesn't differentiate between pets and prey items. The dog has no concept of pet cat vs. feral cat vs. squirrel vs. any other small furry animal of an appropriate size to be caught and made a meal.

Also, Marie is quite right. Garfield's case is not similar to Pandora's case. Garfield was killed by dogs at large. They jumped a fence into a yard not their own and killed that person's pet. Adequate fencing, on the dog owners side, would have saved Garfield. Adequate fencing, which should have been provided regardless, would not have saved this cat. Pandora was not killed by a dog at large. She jumped into a yard with dogs and they did what dogs do naturally. In this case, the cat became prey. Just as easily as she could have become predator to countless birds. Animals work on instinct.

If there are other concerns, which there are, then those are the concerns which need to be addressed. However, this particular incident was caused when prey came into contact with predator in the predator's territory. It is no different than a gazelle walking into a pride of lions. It is not reasonable to expect a predatory animal to ignore a prey item simply because we consider that prey item a pet and the law says it has the right to be there.

I have had several issues with a wolf hybrid getting off leash and have had to step in to save my dogs as they are much smaller. I have warned the owner and contacted animal control. Why? Because the hybrid is at large. That said, the hybrid is only doing what comes to it naturally. I have a 12-15lb terrier mixes. I see them and see my beloved pets, that wolfdog sees them and sees a potential prey item.


It is not Pandora's fault, but it is not the dogs either, and I don't feel that most owners should be held responsible. It appears in this case that there is irresponsible ownership going on regarding the dogs, but this exact same thing could happen to any dog owner. Should I be held responsible if my dogs harm a cat that comes into my yard? I've trained them, but no training is 100% effective, and any owner that thinks it is, is setting themselves up for that one time that something is off, and all it takes is one time. Should I also be held responsible if they ever manage to get their hands on the squirrel that likes to taunt them from the tree in the back yard? Should I be held responsible if it's Miss M that inflicts damage on another animal while she's in her own yard? Which is a much more likely scenario in my case, forget beware of dog, I'm putting up beware of cat signs.

Or how about a car? Again if the argument is that the cat has the legal right to go where it pleases, that includes the road. Should any of us be held responsible if someones cat darts in front of us while driving and we are unable to stop in time to avoid hitting it?

This goes for all owners of predatory animals. It sets a dangerous precedent. What it boils down to for me is that this is not a legal matter. It is simply a matter of life. There is no fault here, simply cause and effect or the cycle of life or whatever one chooses to call it.

I just got up and I'm rambling, but I felt the need to respond again because it really and truly concerns me what this could mean for dog owners or for that matter cat owners in general.
 

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I'll probably be the odd one out here, but I think it's absolutely ludicrous to try and put blame on a dog owner for killing a cat that came into the DOG'S area. Now, if the dogs have shown aggressive tenancies towards people, yes, report it and have something done, but animal aggression and prey drive in a dog does not mean that the dog will also attack people. I'm sorry, but if you let a cat outside and a fox or coyote kills it, are you going to blame the city for not making sure all the wildlife is removed so that your cat can go anywhere it pleases? A dog is there same as any other wild canid, they chase and kill small furry animals. My dogs don't chase or bother my indoor cats, but if my dane was outside in OUR fenced yard and a cat came in, you bet he's going to chase it. How is it my fault as a dog owner if I'm walking my 140lb dog on leash down a city street, and someone's cat runs into the road at us and follows us down the street? A car could kill it, wildlife could kill it, or a loose dog could kill it. Now, a loose dog going INTO someone's yard and attacking their cat, that is completely the fault of the dog owner, but you'd never make me feel guilty if my dog got a cat that jumped my fence and came onto my property. My dogs aren't outside unsupervised, but things can happen in an instant. My cats stay inside because I won't risk anything happening to them. If one did get out and went next door and got attacked, I wouldn't blame the dog owner. Silly.
 

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It's not illegal here for a cat to roam, either. However, if you let it do so, the owner is taking the risk that it will not come back. Dogs (and other animals) are territorial as well and don't tolerate trespassers. Our donkey chases any cat that enters its pasture. He has a strong guarding instinct (not prey drive, but the results would be the same if the cat isn't fast enough). Should I blame the donkey? or me? I don't think so.

I'm sorry the cat was killed; that is tragic. That's why my cat doesn't roam; not necessarily just because of fear of predation, but because of the likelihood that she would take the notion to enter/traverse the highway in front of the house. I've always had indoor/outdoor kitties .. I've had none last past a year and a half before something happened to them. My last completely indoor cat lived to be 16. There's a huge difference in life expectancy.
 

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My last completely indoor cat lived to be 16. There's a huge difference in life expectancy.
I dont believe that actually, based by my own experience with my mothers cats. I think a lot of the risk depends on where you are.

Of course there are risks associated with letting a cat outside - not going to argue with that. But being killed by aggressive dogs should definitely not be one of them
 

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Cat entered dogs yard I think. However - the fence was inadequate and broken and also the law in the UK states that cats can go anywhere they please (so dog owners cant say cat was trespassing).

.

Okay, okay. So the UK is ahead on that.
 

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WOW

I am shocked at the negative reply's to this thread which as far as I can see was an honest way to try to highlight the importance of reporting dangerous or aggressive dog's & irresponsible owner's.

as far as I can see NO ONE WAS PLACING ANY BLAME ON THE DOG'S THEIR SELF

& certainly not a discussion about whether the dog's were to blame or whether a dog has prey drive for cat's

the owner of these dog's MUST have been aware of the aggressive nature which most probably was because of the neglect they gave to the poor thing's & if the victim's had of reported the attack's on them then hopefully something would have been done to ensure that the dog's were kept restrained or were re-homed.

there should be no argument here..............

it would be as much for the dog's wealfare to report the owner as it is for future victim's.
 

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You hit the nail on the head completely there Victoria

Allie, I hope you don't mind this, but I just wanted to point out that the owner of the dogs firstly admitted they had attacked Pandora and badly injured her, but when she died, the owner changed her story. To me this says a lot about who's to blame.

I have made it clear my personal feelings about dogs in general, but in this case neither the cat, the cat's owner or the dogs are to blame. If someone thinks it's perfectly ok to train dogs to be aggressive and extremely territorial (or to train them NOT to be aggressive), then surely it's entirely their fault if something like this happens?
 
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