A Columbia woman is speaking out after six of her pet bunnies were killed by a stranger's dogs.
Nina Lahr opened up to ABC 17 News about the tragic incident that occurred at her home in Central Columbia. She said she came home Thursday to find Animal Control there "with two dogs in the back of their truck."
"The dogs broke into three cages and damaged several other cages, damaged our chicken coup, killed our pet rabbits. We buried six rabbits last night and it was horrible," Lahr told ABC 17 News.
Lahr said the dogs lived at home two miles away, but because rabbits fall under "livestock" in a City of Columbia ordinance, there are no significant repercussions for the loss of her pets.
Animal Control says the dogs' owners were issued a summons for their dogs being off leash and they were given a warning for their dogs being dangerous or aggressive.
"The city said there’s nothing they can really do about it—no charges, no nothing. These people get a ticket for their dog not being on a leash and my daughter got to bury her pets," Lahr explained. "And it bothers me that rabbits fall under livestock. Had it been my cat, there would’ve been trouble but since they just chased our cat, no trouble."
Under the city's current ordinance, a dog will be considered dangerous or aggressive if the dog bites a pet. There's no mention of livestock.
Lahr isn't the only one affected by the loss--her 14-year-old daughter is also devastated.
"She’s crushed. There’s no replacement for a pet...the first rabbit was her birthday present two years ago," Lahr revealed. "She built the cage that it was in. We worked so hard for this--to have it all taken away in an hour because somebody didn’t get their fence fixed or didn’t get their dog trained right?! It’s not fair and there’s nothing I can do but fence my own yard?! That’s a really big expense."
Lahr said the owners of the dogs were "remorseful" and offered compensation, but she said "there’s no compensation for the loss of your pet—or six of them."
I asked Lahr what she would like to tell dog owners in the City of Columbia. “Your dog shouldn’t be out running around. Know where your dog is—it’s your responsibility. Don’t get a dog because it’s cute. Get a dog that’s going to suit your lifestyle for for the next 15 years...be responsible with your animals."