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JMCSD's avatar

Property and dog question?

Asked by JMCSD (243points) July 2nd, 2011 from iPhone

So my parents and I were victims of the May 22nd tornado that went through Joplin, Missouri, and we lost our home. A couple weeks ago or so we moved into a new home and have a pleasant old couple living next door to us. Here’s the problem: they have 3 dogs just like us. We don’t have a fenced back yard (yet) and can’t fence it until landscaping is finished which we hope will take less than a month or two.

Doesn’t sound like a problem right?  Just put your dogs on a leash and it’s taken care of. But no. When we go to take any number of them out, the neighbor’s dogs come running onto our property and right up to us and our dogs. Now, we do not own violent dogs. In fact, they are friendly as could be, but they aren’t used to new dogs. They are nervous, curious, and defensive.

In the first 3 days we lived here, we had 1 of our English bull terriers outside and 1 of their dogs (the only little yapper dog) came running into our front yard and started biting our 60lb bull terrier. Of course, we just pulled ours inside. But that’s just not right. Sure, it would be great if they just all got along, but they don’t. They’re dogs, and if mine doesn’t like theirs than there’s not much we can do in the short term.

We went over there and introduced ourselves and had an excellent, ‘getting to know each other’ experience. They are wonderful people. But they just disregarded our comments in regards to each others dogs and nothing has changed in the two following weeks.

What rights do we have?  It’s became such a frustrating hassle that we’ve been tempted to allow a little more slack on our dogs leash to allow them to defend our property. We’re animal lovers and don’t want anyone’s pets hurt, but their dogs just run into our yard no matter what. It’s becoming a nightmare.

What legal/informal advice might you have to help alleviate this problem for now until we get our yard fixed and a fence built?

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5 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Usually there are leash laws in most cities and towns. If you live in a community with an HOA, for sure they have leash rules.

But, aside from rules and laws, have you asked them neighor to neighbor to keep their dogs on leashes for now, and that you plan on building a fence? I would not be happy at all in your neighborhood. I am afraid of a strange dog, and if it could run up to me I would be freaked and pissed.

WasCy's avatar

If they really are nice folks, as you seem to think, then maybe they’re simply ignorant of what’s really happening. Can you take some video of their dogs running into your yard and being a nuisance? “Nice folks” would take care of a situation like that. So, either they aren’t really the nice folks that you seem to think (but let’s assume that they are), or they’re ignorant of the actions of their own dogs, and their responsibility to control that.

Aethelwine's avatar

If you plan on putting a fence up in the near future I wouldn’t try to make enemies of your neighbors if you get authorities involved. There usually are leash laws, but if you contact your local authorities and they then contact your neighbor, your neighbor will know who snitched. You need to decide what is most important. Happiness now by getting authorities involved but possibly having a neighbor resent you for the many years you may live next to these people, or keeping an eye on your dogs for the time being and have a good neighbor relationship.

YARNLADY's avatar

When our fence is being worked on, we simply install a temporary dog run fence. This has happened to us twice because of too much wind and rain destroying our existing fence.

We have had to install a second fence in our side yard because the dog next door comes right through the existing fence.

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