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Dogs and cats must be under control and on your property at all times. Free roaming dogs are a threat to livestock and wildlife. Farmers and ranchers have the right to protect their livestock and in some cases may destroy animals that threaten their livestock. Dog owners whose dogs injure or kill livestock will be held financially responsible and such dogs may be euthanized. In Benton COunty it is the owner’s responsibility to license and vaccinate pets against rabies. Your pet should have a collar and identification tags.
Even the gentlest pets can be predators. According to a study published in 2013, free ranging cats kill 1.3 to 4 billion birds each year. Consider converting cats to indoor-only lifestyles. Take steps to keep dogs from wandering off your property. It is legal to shoot dogs that trespass and pose a threat to livestock. For more information, review the Animal Control Chapter of the Benton County Code.
Some pets can become pests. Turtles, frogs, fish, and crayfish, which make interesting classroom pets, should never be turned loose in the environment. Similarly, aquarium plants can, and often do, wreak havoc on aquatic systems. If you have a pet you can no longer care for, contact your local animal shelter for advice.