2012-11-29 / Letters to the Editor

Dogs at town farm can have dire consequences

Dogs instinctively chase. Dogs chase each other, they chase a ball when you throw it across your lawn, they chase your car down the driveway. Most cats understand this instinct in dogs and at a very early stage in their relationship a cat will confront the dog, and make it clear to the dog that chasing me around the house is not an option. I don’t chase you, you don’t chase me.

Sheep instinctively run from danger and they generally perceive all moving objects as danger. For the most part, sheep are nonconfrontational and prefer a quiet existence in a pasture where the grass is green and all dangerous things are on the other side of the fence and far away. On a farm, the farmer’s dog is taught at a very early age to leave the sheep alone and that’s the way the sheep like it.

Sometime on the Friday after Thanksgiving at the Jamestown Community Farm, the consequences of the sheep’s instinct to run and the dog’s instinct to chase played itself out to a fatal ending. Somehow a dog got inside the pasture, the sheep ran and the dog chased.

Somewhere in all dogs’ brains there are ancient connections to their wolf ancestors, and somewhere during that chase the wolf connection took over and the dog was no longer chasing a big wooly ball for fun but an animal to catch and kill. He caught one of the sheep and mangled it so badly that it had to be put to sleep.

People have to understand that dogs that are not raised around farm animals are dangerous to the farm animals. If you visit a farm you should leave your dogs at home with the cat. They understand each other.

Secondly, on a different matter, the Jamestown Community Farm leases the land from a private owner and the lease allows the owner and his family to hunt the land during hunting season. With the exception of the barn, the farm is now closed for the season and people should recognize that hunting on this beautiful vegetablegrowing land is a reality and they should alter their hiking plans accordingly.

Bob Sutton
Jamestown Community Farm

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