General Question

Tequila's avatar

Is there anything I can do in this situation? Details inside.

Asked by Tequila (337points) April 30th, 2013

I own a house in a nice quiet subdivision. My neighbors had to return to their hometown (in another country) due to a family emergency, so they put their house up for rent for a year contract. The renters moved in yesterday, and I’ve already noticed a few possible issues. The first being that my neighbor had assumed he was renting to a young man. A young man moved in, along with his young girlfriend and young kid, and 2 other young adults. We live fairly close to the university and college in the city, so I have a feeling the house next door might turn into party central. I don’t think any of them are over 20. But my main issue is their dog. It’s a pitbull. Now, I have nothing against pitbulls, but I know for a fact he is untrained and I have witnessed him bite his owner TWICE already, and she basically slapped him and tied him out in the backyard. Their backyard is not completely fenced off and it’s a flimsy rope. I have a chihuahua and a toy poodle. My backyard is completely fenced off and they cannot get out but I often tie my dogs in the front as the neighborhood kids like to come and play with them and they are well-tempered. I am very concerned about this dog… if it comes to a point when the dog gets out of hand, is there anything I can do? Also, just out of curiosity, could they not get into trouble by lying to the landlord about who is living there?

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16 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Keep the numbers for animal control and for the police handy. But be aware you’re making assumptions. Have you introduced yourself to the new neighbor? They might just become great neighbors!

Also, talking to them now you can ask them about the dog before it becomes a problem.

rojo's avatar

Most lease agreements stipulate “who” is to be living in the house and how long a “guest” can be there. (usually 7–14 days). More time than that and it is a lease violation and they could be evicted BUT your neighbor is overseas so will probably do nothing.
Keep you own dog in the back yard for now and follow @zenvelo‘s advice about introductions, and the phone numbers.

Seek's avatar

Is it a deed restricted community? Consult your HOA – they might have a “no aggressive breeds” policy already in place.

rojo's avatar

If you have a way to contact your old neighbor, you might ask if he knew a pet was going to be included in the deal.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Normally, I will tell people to not rock the boat and try to get along, but an untrained pitbull is a big problem, specially one that bites. You asked if the pitbull gets out of hand, what can you do. Well, you can shoot it 5 or 6 times and hope it bleeds out before it has a chance to rip your throat out.

I am glad to hear you don’t have anything against pitbulls, I have a pitbull myself, and in general they are good dogs, but honestly, I rather live next to two wild wolves than one untrained pitbull.

If the pitbull is untrained and biting, then you more or less have a duty to report that.

I would tell you to not cause problems, and to get to know them, and try to get along, but a pitbull is just too serious to ignore.

If it is a male pitbull, and you have dogs too, and one of yours is female, and it gets in heat, you could have serious problems with that dog.

If it does get out of hand, lock yourself inside, call animal control, and whatever you do don’t try to deal with it yourself. Last time one got out of control in my town, it took half a dozen police officers and half a dozen bullets to stop it, and even then it managed to kill two other dogs, maul an old lady, and leave a cops hand in quite a bad state.

majorrich's avatar

I wouldn’t borrow trouble with the situation as it is. I would keep an eye on things and determine how they are going. If it does turn into party central, or the Pit becomes a menace to your children or pets, then take decisive action with the police and animal control. I would probably speak with them about your concerns over the dog and how you hope you can be friends and respect each others need for quiet etc.. That way they know your expectations, and probably a bit of knowing you are indeed watching over them.

Seek's avatar

I’m with @poisonedantidote on this.
I used to keep pit bulls (well, my husband did), and our dear sweet old Bub – as nice and kind and loving as he was, was able to climb 10 foot chain link fences and break windows in order to chase a cat. And he wasn’t even purebred pit – he was ¼ Rottweiler.

poisonedantidote's avatar

When you say the pitbull bit the owner, I am assuming you meant he gave him a little nip by accident.

This video will give you an idea what happens when a pitbull bites. (WARNING Graphic content) Also note the wagging tail, it is only playing, Imagine if it was serious about doing harm.

Tequila's avatar

@poisonedantidote The bite didn’t seem too aggressive, but she was trying to put him in the house and you could tell he wasn’t too happy about it.. then he nipped at her. The dog just runs around wild, barks, jumps on things (they’re still unloading things from the truck). It’s a pretty large, muscular dog and his mouth alone is the size of my chihuahua… just a little concerning!

rojo's avatar

We have two houses of students in our cul-de-sac. One we have never had a lick of trouble with, if there is a party, they come over and tell us when it will be and ask us to please come over and say something if it gets too intense for us.
The others turned into a party central, noise, crowds, cars everywhere, beer bottles and cans left in the streets. No amount of talking convinced them to moderate. Could not get a response from the landlords, They live out of town and would not return calls from any of the neighbors So, every time they had a party and/or violated some ordinance (parking in front of other peoples drives, in front of a fire hydrant, cars parked facing the wrong way or too close to the intersection, noise, trash in the yard or street, public intoxication, probably a few DWI’s, grass too long, whatever) the authorities were called, tickets were written and at the end of the lease they found somewhere else to live. I don’t know if it was related but the owner also sold the property. The next bunch came in and they are much more pleasant neighbors.

Judi's avatar

Do you have contact info for the landlord? Did they use a management company? A good neighbor would let them know what’s going on in their house. Many (most) insurance policies exempt pit bulls and the property owner can be responsible for the behavior of the pet. I have a friend who’s rental house went into foreclosure. He wanted to just give it back to the bank but you know how stupid the banks are. The renters stopped paying and he stopped paying the insurance. Bad move. Their Pit Bull bit someone and he got sued.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Tequila I know what you mean by concerning. A pitbull is only really a dog by definition, because in reality it is almost a different species of creature all together.

A pitbull can be a great dog to have. They are highly intelligent, very loyal, and very fun to play with, they never get tired. Just, if there is one near you, that is not well trained, you really do have to do something about it.

My pitbull Clipper, is superbly trained. He has a voice command and hand gesture for everything, and never needs to be told anything twice. He will walk without pulling on his lead, he is trained to ignore other dogs and to just sit, even if he is being sniffed at or barked at, he can fetch, play dead, roll over, close doors, turn the lights on or off, and do loads of other tricks and carry out many different commands, but I still don’t trust him 100%.

Even my own dog, with how well he is trained, if he ever showed even the slightest aggression, I would have him put down immediately, they are just too dangerous if not handled right.

From what you are saying, this one sounds like it is just not treated right by the owners at all. If I want my pitbull to come inside, all I have to do is say “shhhht casa” and he will run inside next to his bowl of water. If they are having to pull it and shout at it, then it is not well trained, and all they are doing is confusing it and making it more dangerous by acting like that with them. In a sense they are egging it on to be aggressive.

You say the owner slapped the pitbull, that is wrong. A putbull can not be disciplined by hitting it, it is just too strong, if you hit it, the pitbull will think you are just playing. You would have to hit it so hard for it to get the message that it did wrong, that you would have to injure it, so hitting or slapping a pitbull is just pointless, they can’t be trained like that.

A pitbull is not like other dogs, it requires more or less the same dedication that raising a child does. They have so much energy, and get bored so easy, that it is really not a dog that you can just chain up when its convenient.

I live in Spain, a country that is not exactly famous for how well it treats animals. I have never organized or taken part in a dog fight, but I have been unfortunate enough to witness them, and I really cant emphasize enough just how dangerous this thing you have next door is.

The pitbull in the video I linked probably killed that man, and it was not even trying to. I can tell from looking at the video, that the pitbull in the video is just having a friendly game of tug of war with his owners arm.

If a pitbull attacks you, it will kill you, no ifs or buts, even if you live sandwiched between a police station and a hospital, it will get at your neck and take you out within seconds.

The reason I am putting so much effort in to this question, is because I know pitbulls very well, I have been around lots of them. This pitbull is not a little submissive weakling, it is a highly confident very capable dominant animal.

This pitbull has just been moved to a new area, with new smells. I can assure you, this dogs mission right now is to urinate on as many things as it can, and establish its dominance. It is not happy at all about that dog smell coming from your house, so close to its area of smell.

If you are not going to report it, be very careful with it, and at least talk with the owner. If the owner does not seem capable, or reasonable about talking to you, or is deluded about what a softy his dog is, then do absolutely report it.

If you had said doberman, retreiver, german shepherd, or any other breed, I would be telling you to just ignore it, and try to get along with these people, because you probably wont be able to get rid of them, and you own your house, they are only renting, and you have more to lose. But when you say pitbull, in a new location, and untrained, then it is really time to do something about it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

With all due respect to other posters, I think you should talk to the landlord about what you’ve noticed. Kids in charge of a lethal weapon that is unsecured, is a problem.

I’m a big pit bull fan and have owned several, it’s not a joke at all and the woman slapping a dog and roping or chaining, only makes them mean, because they’re naturally an aggressive breed. Call now, don’t wait.

Buttonstc's avatar

The key word in all of this is untrained.

Until you contact the owners of the property and they do something about this situation, don’t ever let your dogs out anywhere except your fenced backyard. You just can’t take that chance.

And if it were me, I would not let my dogs out even in the fenced yard unless I were there with them and had a baseball bat or a gun close at hand. An untrained pitbull is a lethal weapon and after they kill or maim, is too late.

Seek's avatar

Is anyone else terrified that these people have a young child in the house?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Of course, it’s very dangerous. A lot of pit bull owners refuse to believe THEIR dog could be dangerous. I’ll reiterate, any dog that is hit or beaten, and chained or roped up, will more than likely become dangerously aggressive, it’s unnatural and to me is abuse.

Unfortunately, you can’t call the police and report ‘ignorance’ and expect to get anywhere unless there’s a breed-specific ordinance in your city. If the dog ever attacks, the child suffers and the dog dies, it’s a no-win situation and completely preventable. :(

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