I have lived in small towns (under 500 people) most of my life. My current home is rural and 3 miles from the nearest town with a population of 500. That being said, I built my home myself, paying as I went. I am a fan of animals including cats and dogs. I have 8 unfenced acres for them to roam on. My nearest neighbor moved next door on another 8 acres about 8 years ago and promptly forgot to control his dogs or to at least keep them home. I politely mentioned that I would appreciate that because they were coming to my house and leaving their mess along with chasing my cats and generally causing a problem. He told me to chase them home. I dropped the subject and went about my business. These dogs have since snapped at me in my shop when I walked up on them unexpectedly twice along with chasing my wife back into the house when she stepped out to shoo them away. She happens to be afraid of dogs which doesn't help. I have chased them away at least 40 times in the past 2 years. Last week I came home to find one of them trying to get at some 4 week old kittens I been taming to give away to other ruralites. He ran, but as I entered my home he came sneaking around my truck headed back to my shop. I grabbed the 22 mag rifle took a head shot at 40 yards. I failed to hit him in the right spot and he made a run straight away yelping as he went. I was sick as I thought I had a killing shot when I pulled the trigger. There was no blood as I went looking for him as he ran the length of my property. The neighbors immediately began to scream obscenities and make threats. I told them to call the Sheriff's office and they did so. They were told by the deputy that I was completely within my rights as they were in essence allowing an unlicensed dog to roam free. The next day, they approached me to say that I had indeed hit the dog and they had had to have it put down. And ask if I would promise not to shoot the other dog if it came over, until they could build a larger kennel. I had a hard time controlling my anger at their audacity. These are people who came from a much larger city to enjoy the country life. Please if you intend to move to our little area of the world, remember that we raise pumpkins not bumpkins and may not insist that you respect our rights before we assert them. This story was prompted this morning after I received a letter basically threatening me and mine over the incident if I did not make it right. I am making an effort to do so by target practicing more often so that I do not miss again.