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Terrier shot after killing a chicken

A dog ended up dead on July 2, after it attacked and killed another family’s chickens near Vashon Community Care.

The man who killed the dog was within his legal rights to do so, because the dog was on his property harassing his livestock, and the owner of the wayward dog claims responsibility for the death.

But both were shaken up by the event, and in the days that followed, a flurry of emails about the incident was sent on the popular and well-subscribed Vashon-All listserv.

The dog was loose for three to five minutes, said its owner Charlotte Tiencken, who was visiting her mother at the care center when her dog ran away from her.

Property owner Gary Peterson, who lives north of the care center, said he came out of his shop at about 5 p.m. Friday, July 2, to see a dog chasing and taking bites out of his chickens, which were inside a fenced area. He learned later that one of his chickens was killed by the terrier, who had managed to squeeze under the fence, Peterson said.

“The dog was on a rampage,” Peterson said.

He tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to catch the dog, who continued to chase his chickens.

“At that point, I know there’s only one thing I can do to stop the carnage, which is to get my gun,” Peterson said.

He retrieved his gun from his gun safe, loaded it and went back to his livestock yard, where chickens, geese, turkeys, goats and donkeys are kept.

Peterson shot and killed the dog, a 9-year-old wire-haired terrier mix named Pumpernickel, before Tiencken knew where her dog had gone.

According to state law, a property owner has the right to kill a dog on his or her property if it is chasing or injuring livestock.

“I made a mistake — I let (Pumpernickel) go, and I shouldn’t have done that, and I take full responsibility for his death,” Tiencken said. “I’m sad to have lost my dog, but I’m also sad that laws like this exist, and I’m sad that this is the way (Peterson) chose to deal with getting animals off his property.”

Peterson said he always tries to catch dogs on his property, tie them up and wait for their owners or VIPP to come pick them up. But he has shot and killed one dog on his property before, about 10 years ago.

He said it’s irresponsible to let one’s dog wander, and wishes he didn’t have to deal with the canine problem on his property. The chicken that died, Henny Penny, was his granddaughter’s favorite, he said.

“The incident ruined our weekend,” Peterson said.

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