Dog Gets Death Sentence for Injuring a Cat

By Lisa Spector, Juilliard Graduate, Canine Music Expert, and co-creator of Through a Dog’s Ear.

I had to blink and read twice when I read the headline on Dogster this morning. C-Jay, a three year old dog in Scotland, escaped from his yard after a visitor accidentally left the gate open and was found with a cat in his mouth. The cat survived, but sustained a broken jaw, femur and internal injuries. C-Jay’s owner Tracy Jackson was more than willing to pay the veterinary costs. But, damages were much worse than she expected. Dundee Judge Robin White ordered that C-Jay be euthanized, even though he had no history of aggression towards people or dogs.

In other words, the judge thinks that C-Jay should be put down for being a dog. If every dog with prey instinct were euthanized, very few of us would have the loving furry friend companions that are part of our canine households.

C-Jay’s owner and her teenage daughter are devastated.  Even the cat’s owner thinks that C-Jay shouldn’t be killed. Administering a fine is understandable, ordering him to wear a muzzle in public is questionable, but the death sentence is severe and irrevocable. I’m very sorry for the injured cat, but the story leaves me wondering if the judge wouldn’t have ordered such a harsh order if C-Jay were a Golden Retriever or another large breed dog. But, C-Jay is a Staffordshire mix. On National Pit Bull awareness day, I wrote about the negative stigma attached to the breed and the monster myths about Pit Bulls.

What do you think? Should C-Jay be destroyed because he attacked a cat after he got out of his yard? Thanks for expressing your answer by voting and posting a comment. If you think Judge White should re-consider the severity of his sentence, please sign the petition.

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Diane L.
Diane L3 years ago

Oh, I see, Sandra (the dog behavior expert). So in your expert opinion, any dog that hunts, catches and shakes a cat hard enough to break it's spine is just behaving naturally? Sorry, but doing what C-Jay did is NOT instinctive to all dogs, thank goodness! It seems to also have escaped your attention that this was not the first time this dog attacked and injured another animal. Glad you don't live near me if you have dogs. I shudder to think about how badly your dogs might behave or how poorly you control them.

I don't blame the dog. I blame the owner, and unfortunately, because he can't control this dog, it's the dog who will or may pay the ultimate price for his irresponsibility.

Sandra Lang
Sandra Lang3 years ago

This is utterly ridiculous! To have the poor dog killed because he was doing what comes naturally to a dog???? Believe me, if that visitor had not left the gate open this would never have happened!!!! Rather dispose of the ignorant humans who make these decisions and those who cause dogs to be put in this position!

LMj Sunshine

Sad, wonder what happened?

LMj Sunshine

Sad, wonder what happened?

Sandi C.
Sandi C3 years ago


JO MUNZ3 years ago

NO! C-JAY is NOT a human -- he should NOT be held responsible for the cat's injuries -- I love and have cats! The one responsible for the cat's injuries is the human who's in charge of C-Jay -- you must protect your animals from doing and/or receiving harm! Remember, they are animals! Please note the following: AS TO THE CAT KILLER FROM ANOTHER ARTICLE: Mr. Graham should NOT be set free -- he MUST be thrown in a rubber room -- he's a danger to all of society -- animals and humans! NOT holding a human accountable for his/her actions, a human who has the ability to choose, to know right from wrong, tells you about those in charge, those in positions of authority who make decisions that affect all of us -- these people in charge must come to see the light and hold Graham and all the Grahams of the world responsible for their depravity, for their cruelty, for their criminality, for their lack of conscience -- they're MURDERERS and should be thrown in jail and rubber rooms!

Diane L.
Diane L3 years ago

(cont).....They usually (not always) eat what they kill, or bring it home as a "prize" for Mom, as apparently this dog did. Most dogs raised with cats, as you've suggested will not chase cats with the "intention" to harm, but will still chase. Most of the time, the cat runs up a tree or stands it's ground and it's "game over" for the dog. Some are determined and true cat killers. The only action that would be responsible in those cases would be to absolutely prevent any contact with cats, rehome the dog or euthanize if neither of the former is possible.

Diane L.
Diane L3 years ago

Jeaneen, how do you know this dog wouldn't harm a child.........just because up to now, he hasn't and only has mauled cats? This dog didn't simply succumb to instinct to chase a cat, he caught the cat, mauled it severely and then brought it home as a "prize". He was not in his "territory" when he caught the cat, so that doesn't "fly". Even if it was instinctive to chase cats, and for many dog breeds, it most certainly is, the owner showed a lack of being able to control him because this was not the first time. So, how many cats or times does it take to address this?

Jeaneen, you are very mistaken about what I think of dogs. I just lost my last dog to a degenerative spinal condition, and it's only been a week. I've had both dogs and cats my entire life, and love both. I, as hopefully, a responsible pet owner, don't trust my dogs with my cats alone, nor do they get the opportunity to chase them as you've implied. Sometimes it happens regardless of my attempts to prevent it, and when it does, the dog is disciplined verbally, which usually is all that is required, but she'd still not be 100% trustworthy the "next time".

Lyn, you're confusing an instinct to chase something that moves, and an instinct to chase and kill for survival. Most cats will hunt and kill birds, rodents and other moving things because it's their instinct to do so to survive. They usually (not always) eat what they kill, or bring it home as a "prize" for Mom, as apparently this dog did. Mos

Lyn Smith
Lyn Romaine3 years ago

I don't see why they should kill this dog just because he chased and caught a cat. I love both cats and dogs and know that some dogs will chase a cat and some won't. Just because they do what is instinctive is no reason to kill them, they are not being vicious. A lot of times it is territorial. Even their own yards if a cat OR dog manages to get into their territory and they catch it, well its sad to say but they will do it in. And in the case of C-Jay, he got out of his yard and saw a cat and chased it. To him the cat was in his territory. When I would take my dog out for a walk I had him leashed up good because I knew that if anything crossed his path it was in our territory. I used to tell him he was a nutcase, but he wasn't vicious to the kids around us. He would lick them to no end, especially my little nieces who used to suck on their thumbs. He wanted to share their thumbs with them. It is not right to kill a dog because he chased a cat and caught it, just like you can't kill a cat for chasing a bird and catching one. These are instincts. Now if you just want to kill something, lets kill the people who abuse these poor animals!!! THEY are the ones who need to be euthanized!!! Jail is too good for them.

Jeaneen Andretta
Past Member 3 years ago

Diane.L. you sound like the Judge, the dog is not aggressive, he would not harm a child, it is people like you that make dogs lives so hard. Right away he is a killer and would kill a child, Please care about the poor dog, he did nothing wrong, dogs chase cats. Keep cats indoors and dogs gates closed and no problems. He would not harm a child. Dogs need people on their sides not against them. too many idiots around today making animals lives miserable. Look at the dogs that were saved through care2, people wanted them dead too, fortunately good people thought otherwise.