So I have never posted to one of these before—but I’ve also never been in the situation I’m in. Last night while I was away at my neighbors for an hour my dog brutally killed my cat. I have 2 dogs and 3 cats and most of them have lived together all their lives. With the exception of this dog. He is a red heeler and he was a couple years old when he came to live with cats. With this being said he has lived with them most of his life and with this specific cat for 4 years. When on walks his prey drive has always been high but not in the house. Never, obviously, has something like this happened. And now I can’t look at my dog the same. Every time I see his face cut and swollen, from my cat trying to fight him off I assume, all I can see is the image of my cat dead and bloody on the floor and all the other spots in the house that had blood and showed my cat put up a fight. I am overwhelmed with guilt for not being here to protect him and overwhelmed with sadness and anger every time I look at my dog. I don’t know if I should try and re-home him to a home without cats or give him a second chance here and hope I can get over everything I am currently feeling and this was a one time thing. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks. 😔
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Oh wow I really don't know what to say, other than I'm so sorry and what and awful situation to be in.  It must have been terrible to have come home to that, but how could you have known this would happen if they had lived together for 4 years. I am truly sorry you've had to go through this.

Sending big hugs from me and Ava xx
Avabears mummy

'It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.' Anon


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This story is heartbreaking. It's hard to imagine the grief, guilt and agony you are going through. We are all on here because we are hurting and missing our fur family members in some way, shape or manner. But this story is especially painful.

You might want to give yourself some time to process this before making any decisions about how to proceed. As you said, this is the first instance of something like this happening between your dog and your kitty. For that reason alone, please ease up on the guilt you are feeling. This was unimaginable and unforeseeable based on their history. Now, you are left with the turmoil.

Ease up on yourself and keep posting. I have found many on this forum who dealt with the same kind of grief I am going through. Perhaps there is somebody similarly situated as yourself who may have some better insight.

In the meantime, I grieve for your beloved little kitty, and the culprit who remains in the balance. I wish you peace during this excruciatingly painful time.
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I agree with the advice you have received so far.  My heart goes out to you - I can't begin to imagine coming home to such a tragic situation.  You were surely traumatized seeing and then realizing what had happened.  It's understandable that you would look at your dog with a different set of eyes considering the circumstance but could anything in particular have triggered such an extreme reaction on his part?  I am so very sorry about the loss of your kitty.  Praying that you are able to come to an educated decision about what action you will take.  Again, my deepest sympathies.
My warmest regards,  Carmen's and Gigi's mom - alicia
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I would strongly suggest getting advice from your vet or maybe even an animal behaviourist. You don't want to put your 3 cats at risk but if something strange precipitated this you don't want to jump the gun and let your dog go either. If you do decide to rehome your dog, it may be important to stress that he be the only pet in the family or at least to say he doesn't get along with cats.
I'm so sorry, I can't imagine how hard this is! Hugs to you,
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I’m so sorry for your loss, that is really a horrific situation to be in. I think if it were me I’d rehome him and let them know that he had killed your kitty. I would also keep my other cats away from him while you’re out for their safety. There is no way to know what triggered this but it doesn’t matter. I think this is serious enough that he has to be rehomed as an only pet. Once they show that kind of aggression there is no going back. You will never know again if he can be trusted. Hugs to you💕
My beloved sweet Tess August 1999 - February 21 2001
My beloved loyal Byron March 1998 - April 28 2008
My sweet beloved girlie Angelina April 2001- September 2012
Me & my sweet beloved Wizberry forever 1998- April 21, 2016
My sweet beloved Snow Goddess Sybil girlie April 2001- May 11,2018
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I send you condolences on this horrific situation, though I realize they can do little to ease what you are going through. 

Before giving any suggestions on what to do about your dog, I took some time to read up on the red heeler breed. I do not know your living circumstances, but if this dog is regularly cooped up with your cats, i'm afraid I must agree with elliemeewiz. This is an energetic cattle herding breed that craves copious outdoor activity. He is at the age where he is at his peak physically, and probably at his most boisterous. Unless you can keep them segregated from each other, I believe your remaining cats are in serious jeopardy from this animal, particularly now that he's done this once. Whatever set him off is still present.  For now, I'd suggest you immediately separate him from the rest of your brood until you can make arrangements to get him to a better living situation. 

Best wishes to you, and best of luck in resolving this difficult and tragic situation. 
B Weinstein
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Such a sad sad story.

And,there are no answers
as to why either???

So so sorry for you
and the decision that
you may need to make.
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Dgaudet I am so sorry to hear about your terrible situation and loss. You have a lot to think about I am sure you are keeping your other animals safe. ❤️ Hugs! 😢
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I am so sorry for your loss i know how it feels to lose something you love and cherish its tough
shine your light down on me
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In 2014 my Shepherd Apollo killed our last remaining cat, Molly. She was outside in our yard. She had no fear of our dogs as she was raised from birth around our first dog Gizmo, who actually tried to nurse her when her momma wouldn't. She was born in our house in 2000. In 2006 we gained another dog, a 3 month old puppy, my precious Angel puppy girl Satin Marie, who lost her brave fight with Mast Cell Tumors June 1, 2017.

In 2009, We had to say goodbye to Gizmo as she could no longer walk or stand. A month later in July 2009, I rescued an abused Boxer mix and we named him Elvis. He had no interests in cats but had no problem with Moly walking by and rubbing up against him.

In May 2010 I rescued an abandoned Shepherd, my baby baby Apollo.

In June 2011 I rescued our last dog, Jesse, from a high kill shelter in Sebring, FL, flew him from Tampa to St. Louis, MO. He too had no issues with cats and enjoyed Molly sleeping up next to him.

Apollo, being the Shepherd he was, had that high predator instinct in him and as such, he would try to chase Molly in the house but she was faster and could go places he couldn't. I would get on to him about it.

That day in August 2014, she was outside in our back yard, presumably coming to the sound of me calling her name. I was getting ready to take a shower when I heard it. It happened so fast and it was too late. I was pissed at Apollo but did not blame him.

On December 27, 2017 I had to have Apollo euthanized, regrettably, due to repeated fights with the last dog I rescued, Jesse. (8 incidents in a 6 1/2 year period) I had no choice but to have him euthanized, something I regret and will always regret until I die.

I loved Molly and will always miss her. I blame myself as I had put her outside. Do not blame your dog, and do not blame yourself. I realize that is easier said than done.

Because I made a choice between two dogs, both of whom I love dearly and I really do regret having to let Apollo go, I did that for his own good as eventually either my bigger dog Jesse was going to eventually kill him in another fight or Apollo was going to seriously injure Jesse or Elvis was going to decided to join in or I was going to get bitten again trying to break them up or someone else was going to get hurt.

As much as I tell myself all those things, every day, it still kills me that not only did I kill my baby baby Apollo but that he killed my kitty baby Molly in 2014. Was it karma or poetic justice? I'll never know and it really doesn't matter.

My sympathies are with you, as are my thoughts. regardless of the circumstances, you are not alone here.

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I am so sorry for your loss, your guilt about not being there for both your cat and your dog, and the image you are left with from such a traumatic experience.  It is clearly a trauma for all of the members of your household.  Please try to give yourself a break as NO ONE can be home 24/7 or to prevent this situation you couldn't possibly predict.  Logically speaking, I have three dogs-well two dogs now and they are completely friendly with exception to food related incidents or rawhide.  I have seen my golden and my doxies get into huge tussles over these things and with growling-biting each other-and a full fight mentality.  

When rescues come into our lives, and you are so wonderful to provide a loving home, we can't ever fully know their trauma or issues.  You also can't know what triggered this reaction from your dog.  I think some of these suggestions like talking with your vet or a behaviorist is really smart.  Also, to provide you with some peace of mind, when you have to go out if you can provide a crate for your dog so his space is secure and safe for him and without access to the cats?  

It's a difficult situation.  I had a cocker spaniel 20 years ago who was 11 when my son was born.  She couldn't emotionally accept this baby into our home even when we did all of the things like bring the blanket home from the hospital, give extra treats and attention, and time to bond with the baby.  She became so aggressive and started biting visitors who came to visit my son.  She also showed aggression every time she was in the same room with him.  We feared for the safety of our son and ended up having to separate her from him as he began to crawl and toddle.  It was horrible but our responsibility to safeguard all of our family and especially a helpless baby.

In any event, I wish you peace in the days ahead.  I know your animals are so loved and you are amazing to provide such a loving home!  Keep up your posts and let us know how you are doing, how your household is doing, and what you decide to do.  You are in my thoughts and hopes for some resolve.

Best regards,
Auggie's Mom

Auggie's Mom
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