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Controversial Dog Shooting Video Not Illegal

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Sonora, CA – A controversial video posted on social media showing a dog being shot has Tuolumne County Animal Control fielding calls regarding its legality.

The video shows an individual shooting a large white dog on his property. There is also a video of the same dog chasing and killing one of the individual’s chickens roaming his property. We do not have permission to show the video, and due to its graphic nature, it would not have been posted. Some who commented about the post were concerned that this was animal cruelty, especially after the shooter posted a picture of the dead dog tied with a rope to a gate on his property.

“Though this is a concerning act, Tuolumne County Animal Control (TCAC) and Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office both responded and investigated this incident that occurred in 2021,” shared shelter officials.

TCAC provided this definition of the law per the CA Food Ag Code: “Any person may kill any dog in any of the following cases: the dog is found in the act of killing, wounding, or persistently pursuing or worrying livestock or poultry on land or premises which are not owned or possessed by the owner of the dog.”

Shelter officials report that after concluding the investigation, it was determined that the livestock owner was in accordance with CA state law.

“Unfortunately, in our rural area, this is a very common incident that animal control responds to more often than we would like to. We want to remind our community that keeping your pets on your property at all times can greatly reduce any harm that can come to them,” advised animal control officials.

TCAC also noted that spaying and neutering help reduce the chance that a pet may stray or wander.