Years after I posted comments on how to stop dogs from killing chickens, I continue to get calls from all around the country. They all start about the same: “Are you the guy who…?” “Yup, that’s me,” I’ll say. And off we go helping another dog owner with a chicken-killer issue. Problem is, there’s usually at least an hour on the phone, followed by scores of follow-up emails, maybe even another call or two. And, describing the process verbally can be much like writing an essay on how to tie your shoelaces.
So, about a month ago I got two such calls within a week of one another. Jay, my able assistant, peered around his computer monitor at me, and asked, “Is it time for that video?” You see, I’ve talked about creating this video for several years. Only one thing has kept me from doing it, and that was that despite all my best intentions and desire to be helpful, there would likely be plenty of heartfelt flaming coming my way. I don’t need it. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that you can mention anything about any animal on the internet, and passions will fly. Good grief, just read the help files on CraigsList and you’ll see that they warn you that just about any animal ad will get on somebody’s wrong side.
But finally enough is enough. Fact is, there are a lot of dogs–the good kind–out there taking unnecessary abuse in well-intended but misguided efforts to stop a behavior that comes pretty natural to them. So, yes, it’s time to step up to the plate, and help those wonderful friends and their keepers. No longer should I hide, insulating myself from internet trolls belching forth their venom.
Stopping dogs from killing chickens has been easy for me. Simple. Fun, in fact. Yet I’ve come to realize that for most people it is a serious, difficult challenge. And, it’s a big, widespread problem. Just Google “Stop Chicken Killer Dogs.” You’ll see this is one hot topic. We have scoured the Internet looking for good, sensible information on this topic, and just can’t find it. No wonder I’m getting those calls!
So, how potentially big is this problem? I found an article which estimated that as many as 750,000 families own at least one chicken. Hmm…. I wasn’t too impressed, until I realized that article was talking only about households in Britain. If one could know how many homes in America have chickens, even that would tell maybe a third of the story…because on each side of most of them is a neighbor. And neighbors have dogs.
We are in the process right now of working with volunteered dogs, and collecting about 5,000 times too many minutes of great video. We’ll do our best to pare it all down for you to about an hour long presentation. So join with us in this exciting project. Sign up early for being notified when it becomes available, and start contributing your stories to our blog. Whatever posts come in, I’ll start to fashion pages to accommodate.
Now that it’s actually under way, I wonder why I’ve waited. I guess I was chicken.