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BOS votes against rule change on dogs chasing poultry
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BOS votes against rule change on dogs chasing poultry

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Goochland’s Board of Supervisors has voted against a change to the county code that would prevent property owners from killing a dog that is chasing poultry.

The move comes after several cases of dogs being shot received wide-spread media attention, including that of Pearl, a mastiff that was shot after being found killing chickens in a Goochland property owner’s chicken pen (the dog survived the shooting and was featured in a recent Gazette story about the incident).

Earlier this year, a Laurel resident’s dog was shot and killed as it was running toward a flock of ducks on a property in Goochland.

In both cases the poultry owners were considered justified in using lethal means to protect their property, since the county ordinance currently states that dogs may be killed in Goochland for both chasing and killing livestock and poultry.

According to Goochland Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Kalli Jackson, the change was suggested in order to bring Goochland’s code in line with that of the state, which does not include chasing poultry as an acceptable reason to kill a dog.

Looking at nearby localities, it was found that Hanover, Henrico, Louisa and Powhatan have ordinances that match the state ordinance, while Chesterfield, Cumberland and Fluvanna have no local ordinance.

During the board’s discussion of the matter, board chairman John Lumpkins noted that he had concerns about the possibility of preventing a property owner from protecting his poultry.

While sympathetic to local dog owners, “The idea that I have to wait until feathers start flying doesn’t appeal to me.”

District 5’s Ken Peterson offered the sole vote in favor of changing the ordinance.

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