What to do about neighbor's dogs?

newhomeseekerMay 13, 2009

My fiance's neighbor (he just moved there about 3 months ago) apparently has about eight dogs. There is this pack of dogs that runs around together and consists of several mixed breed toy sized dogs and two larger (golden retriever sized) mixed breeds. Now, I love animals (have four cats) but no dogs but had four dogs when I was living with my parents (they currently have three as one just passed away)

anyway, the neigbors' dogs are quite a nuisance at times. They just roam free (he does live out in the country, but still...) they are constantly on his porch looking for food (they will carry off the cat bowl he leaves out there for a stray cat). They appear to be afraid of people (or at least of us). They are a nuisance if you are trying to walk down the road because they will run after you and bark and bark if you are in their "Territory". Some of the dogs appear to be very thin and need to be fed. We've never spoken to the people we assume own these dogs. We've never even seen them out of their house. The dogs are free to run whereever they like and I've almost run one over before (an accident) because it was just standing in the driveway when I was backing up and it is very small (the size of a toy poodle).

Another runs on only three legs, holding a hind leg in the air. I really wish I could feed them but I haven't as I don't want eight dogs in the yard all the time. They are the only neighbors who let their dogs roam free.

Well last night, we had new neighbors moving in next door (they are a whole entire other story as they are annoying as well with reving their motorcyles at 10pm) and these eight dogs were standing across the road watching the new neighbors moving in and barking for TWO HOURS STRAIGHT. The new neighbors have a dog and he didn't bark back not even once. But the eight stood on the other side of the road (right across from our house) and just barked and barked and yipped the entire time. We were almost asleep when this started. After an hour and a half my fiance got dressed, went outside and chased these dogs a quarter mile down the road to their own house (where they continued to bark from there for another half hour). The owners never once yelled at the dogs or took them inside. It was very irritating.

I am thinking of calling the humane society to report the dogs. They will either issue a citation or if they feel they are being neglected, they will take them away. However, I'm reluctant to do this because #1 we don't want to start trouble with the neighbors and #2 the "humane society" is the local dog pound and it is a kill-shelter and they only keep the animals for one week. The local rescue does try to adopt animals from the dog pound but does not always have the funds to do so. I don't feel these dogs are a threat (but then again I don't have young children to worry about) I just feel they are neglected and the owner should take responsibility for them and that they are an annoyance. (I can NOT take the barking all hours of the night either!) I love animals but if I had a gun I would have either aimed it at those dogs or their owner last night!!

Should I call animal control and report them? On one hand it might be beneficial for the dogs to be taken care of (fed, etc) but on the other, I'd hate to see them put down because they don't get adopted. What would you do in this situation?

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i'm the biggest dog lover on the planet but i'll be the first to say you have a valid complaint. there is NO excuse good enough for this sort of thing.

i guess i would start with a face-to-face visit with the owner of these dogs. maybe take a bag of doggy cookies over, introduce yourself, let him know you are an animal lover but that you have concerns about his dogs running loose and possibly getting hit by a car and also that their roaming enough to claim YOUR property as their territory is causing some serious noise pollution by way of BARKING.

i'd be an nice as i could possibly be but i would also make darn sure i got my point across. you have my sympathy, i know what a nuisance barking dogs can be!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 4:10PM
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Have you thought about why your house and the one next door have brand new occupants?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 8:30PM
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I think you should speak with your neighbor...if you do not feel comfortable doing so then your only option is to call the humane society. Those dogs sound like they are a potential hazard. Even if you live in the country most places have laws that require dogs not be allowed to roam freely. Most likely your neighbors will get a citation....if the humans society feels the need to take the dogs then it is probably for the best as it means they are not getting the care they need.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 12:44AM
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In most cases, I'd advise talking to the neighbour first, but since they have multiple dogs and this has gone on and on, it's unlikely to change. If you speak to them then call the authorities, they're likely to put two and two together.

Just call the authorities. If the dogs are not being done right by, you're doing the best for them. Tell authorities you prefer to remain anonymous. Chances are, they've been reported before.

Rural area or not, there are rules about dogs being off private property, and on others' property.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 3:44PM
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    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 8:44PM
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Even if the dogs are well cared for, most areas have laws about nuisance barking.

Most animal control places will issue a warning before they seize the animals. So if you complain to animal control, don't expect them to immediately take the animals without going through a warning process, which gives the owners time to remediate the problem.

Animal control will rarely seize an animal unless its in imminent danger.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 1:36PM
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Actually where I live, and this was just posted in the news paper, if you call animal control and the dog is unlicensed, they take it away immediately and you have THREE days to claim your dog and buy a license or it is put up for adoption or destroyed. If the dog is licensed but is running loose then the dog is kept for one week and the owners have to pay a fine to get their dog back. (apprx the price of a license).

I am VERY tempted to call the dog warden on ALL of my fiance's neighbors' dogs. They are driving me crazy. It is like a free-for-all of 'stray' dogs around our house. And I like dogs, but dont' like them crapping everywhere all over the lawn, tearing into the garbage, barking endlessly for hours at night and during the day. The new neighbors that just moved in have a huge dog that loves to chase cars. So when I am driving up the driveway he runs along side me and then darts in front of me. I almost hit him the other day and it scared me so badly. Also yesterday another neighbor's dog got loose (he keeps it chained behind his house all the time) and was in the yard and I had just gone to the grocery store and was unloading groceries and this dog came running up behind me (I didn't know if it was friendly or not) and jumped into the trunk of my car and was rooting through my groceries for something to eat. He was scratching the hell out of my bumper (there are scratch marks in the paint from his toe nails and I could not get him out of the trunk of my car (big dog) until I opened a can of cat food and lured him out! I then had to use a belt and an entire pound of lunch meat to drag him back to his house (neighbor wasnt' home). He was a very friendly (and very hungry and he woolfed down the food like he hadn't eaten in a week) dog. I left the neighbor ( who I'd have said we were on good terms with) a nice note just saying his dog was loose and I'd caught him and put him back and he might want to check his collar (he'd slipped his collar). I said nothing about the scratches on my car or anything. Stupid neighbor came home and didn't even come over and say thanks or check on the dog (that I saw) next time I'll just call the pound.

I really don't feel comfortable talking to the neighbors about their loose or barking dogs because if I do call the dog warden they will know exactly who reported them. I'm not an animal hater or anything, but it is such a nuisance to have stray dogs running in packs and tearing up your yard, barking for hours each day and night. I just don't know what to do.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 10:41AM
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I completely understand the frustration about nuisance dogs. However, you said We've never spoken to the people we assume own these dogs. We've never even seen them out of their house. The dogs are free to run whereever they like

You ASSUME they own the dogs, you do not seem to know for sure. In my opinion, you should find out definitely who owns the dogs, if anyone, before laying blame. Perhaps these dogs are not owned by anyone and the neighbor is just as annoyed as you are.

Second, as I understand it, this is your boyfriend's home, not yours. Again, it's just my opinion, but it seems to me that if anyone is going to do anything, it should be your boyfriend, not you.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 12:40PM
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Don't bother talking with your "neighbors" about their dogs--they obviously do not care. Call the humane society. The life these dogs are living is no life at all, and at a shelter they at least have a chance of a decent home.
In Texas, loose dogs in a rural area are the responsibity of the owner, and if any livestock is harassed or killed by a dog, the owner is fined and the dog confiscated. The livestock owner also has the right to shoot any dog that is harassing livestock.
I love dogs, but anyone who lets eight dogs roam at will does not love dogs. Your intervention may save these dogs' lives. Being hit and lying by the side of the road to slowly die is a likely fate for members of this pack.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 12:43PM
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I'm sorry you are having so many problems with the neighbor's dogs.I can only add the same advice as others have already done,call the proper authorities.The longer you put it off the more chance of something unpleasant happening,either to the dogs or maybe even a human.It has been my experience that in most rural areas you may have to take matters into your own hands.
Marlingardner-Sometimes even calling the Humane Society or other organization doesn't work either.My sister lives in the Dallas,TX area in a rural community.Her neighbors down the road have dogs that run loose,most haven't even had rabies shots,much less any other vet care.They have puppies and the puppies run lose,get run over and sometimes get shot by people who have livestock.She has talked to the people who "own" the dogs.They don't care.She has talked to the authorities (Sheriff) and they "can't do anything unless the dogs are endangering livestock or humans".Letting the dogs run free,(much less not having their rabies shots),is obviously not enough against the law that it warrants a citation! She has put up with these dogs for 2 years.She is so kind hearted that she has taken care of them rather than have something disastrous happen to them!She even started out dumping a pile of food in the ditch beside the road close to the house where they actually belonged because they were so skinny.She didn't want them at her house but she didn't want to see them starve either.At the time one of the dogs was pregnant.About 5 or 6 weeks after the dog had her puppies she came down to her house with 8 little puppies trailing behind her.LOL She knew where her meals were coming from! She has called every organization she could find but nobody could help.Either they already had their quota of animals,couldn't come out that far,blah,blah,blah.She finally did find a lady that does rescues that has helped her get all the dogs spayed and neutered,except for the one that just had puppies and she is being spayed next week.She has still been out dog food and part of the spay/neuter fees.At this point she has 8 dogs,some are the original adult dogs that came to her house and some are puppies of those dogs that she wasn't able to find homes for and are now grown.She still can't find any organization,shelter,etc.That will take the dogs and none of them will come out and pick them up.So,getting any help to solve Newhomeseeker's problem might be fruitless,depending on where she lives.As soon as my DSis has the mother dog spayed(she found homes for the 6 puppies) she will still end up with 5 dogs that she never asked for because someone was too lazy to take care of them in the first place!
In the area where I live (also in TX) there is no animal control because it is outside the city limits.The sheriff will "take care" of a situation with an aggressive dog if it has endangered livestock or humans.Otherwise,we have to take matters into our own hands when it involves strays or roaming dogs and I won't even get started on stray cats!LOL We have leash laws and roaming laws but they aren't enforced.I think it just depends on where you live as to whether or not you get any cooperation.We have an SPCA but they haven't taken any dogs or cats in over 2 years because they are over run with animals.If you have a dog or cat that might be adoptable they "might" try to help you find a home for it but that is often short lived.It's a "no kill" shelter and there are dogs and cats that have been in that shelter for years because they are un-adoptable! I don't understand that either.What kind of life is that for a dog or cat,penned up 24/7 for years? But don't get me started on that subject.LOL
Anyway,sorry this turned out to be so long.Good luck Newhomeseeker with solving the dog problem.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 6:57PM
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Find out what the exact zoning laws are for the animals and the animal control in your county. Sounds like you are unincorporated, so they are likely very lax. But some have a rule in how many animals can be kept.
This could be a potentially serious situation, because that many dogs could develop a "pack" and can attack. This happened on a bike path in our area, and a jogger was killed and several were attacked before they could get the dogs.
I would not discuss the problem with the neighbors - they are likely NFH - and in discussing the problem - it will likely be ignored, or worse, they will turn hostile. And then they will know (or assume it was) you if the dogs get called on. And they could potentially start a personal war against you that could seriously escalate.
I know of what I speak - I have an NFH and live in an unincorporated area.
Get to know your laws and then call anonymously.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 11:33PM
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I do have to agree with Prairie. If you haven't talked to the people, they just may not own these dogs. Could they, instead, be dogs that have been abandoned or dropped along the side of the road? Sometimes abandoned dogs will band together to make a pack. Either way, I really hope you get a resolution to this sad problem. Makes you wonder how people can treat animals like this. Best of luck. BT

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 6:39PM
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Well, I just went through a frustrating similiar experience and here is how it played out:

My neighbor has 5 unlicensed dogs that she barely cares for. They are constant barkers.

The neighbor to her South gets the honor of dealing with the barking mostly.

Last week, I am home, and notice a animal control truck in front of the barker's house.

The dog owner was not home. The officer left a message that the owner must contact AC.

Much to my surprise, the owner called AC., Subsequently she brought back one of the dogs (the second most vocal of the lot) to the shelter from which it had been purchased.

NOW GET THIS!! She called the Mayor and pleaded her case to keep all four remaining dogs because they are old....need medical attention...too ugly to adopt....

The major said no.

Now she is in cahoots with the South neighbor (the one who originally called) to lie to animal control that the fourth dog actually belongs to the neighbor - in the likely event AC comes to her door again.

Moral of the Tale:

#1) Owners such as your neighbors are mentally and emotionally unstable people that you want to limit verbal contact with.

#2) You cannot let bad owners ruin your quality of life.

#3) Involving the authorities may be the best thing for the dogs - whatever the outcome.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 9:11PM
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New Home

Does the neighbor with the barking dogs rent or own? If they are renting maybe call the owner of the house. Get a pet chicken and when the dogs start harassing it then you can make a complaint about the dogs harassing your live stock. I wouldn't contact them directly. If they are a nut case (even the most seemingly even tempered person can turn out to be a nut case) you may end out having some kind of war. If he knows you called in a complaint and they end up with large fines they may hold a grudge.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 8:23AM
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You would have to check your local laws/ordinances but in our city barking dogs is the easiest problem for police officers to handle. When you call the first time and complain the officer confronts the owners and tell them to stop their dog's barking day or night or the next complaint he will remove the dog from the home. An officer told me that. We had a dog that had access to the roof of the owner's home and he would sit up there and bark at everyone and at every car that went down the street.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 1:06PM
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Why not just get some chickens (livestalk) and when the dogs go after them, shoot the dog. Im pretty sure that in most places, and for sure in our area, that a dog that harms livestock can be killed.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 11:41AM
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spedigrees z4VT

Getting chickens to use as bait for an excuse to shoot a dog is barbaric! For heavens sake call the humane society/animal control. If the dogs do not belong to the owner of the house where they are frequently seen, the officers will discover this when they call. It sounds like these animals are in bad health and are not being fed or cared for properly.

If I were planning to live in an area with a stray dog problem, I would fence in my property. That sounds like the only way to preserve your sanity and to protect your own animals, property, and children if you decide to have any.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 12:08PM
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Yesterday I came home after being at a neighbors house that had a dog and 2 cats. The dog was all over me and I was in the yard that the cats frequented. When I got home suddenly my cat started hissing and acting very agressive. He actually tried to attack my husband. The thing is, he was acting this way with my husband only, who was not even at the neighbors home. My cat is male and is nuetered. Today he is still hissing at my husband and not me. I thought maybe he sensed the other animals on me, but why would he be acting out to my husband only? Please help.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 5:58PM
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Wow - what a nightmare is all I can say. I only read this thread because we have some neighbors at our weekend lake place who let their dog and all their visitors dogs run loose. However it's nothing like this and they're only at their place a few weeks a year. If I were you I would call animal control in a heartbeat and try to get the situation under control. I would not live like that. I love all animals though I have only indoor cats now. However I think it's entirely unacceptable when irresponsible, inconsiderate dog owners allow their dogs to run loose and disrupt other people's lives.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 11:46AM
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this is such an old thread.

i wish we knew what ended up happening........

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 11:55PM
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This was my thread, I don't know why anyone replied on it after all this time. Here is what happened. Nothing. I called animal control to report the dogs and they came out and warned the dog owner (neighbor) to keep their dogs off the road, had to have them confined etc. They also fined them for not having licenses. The neighbors kept their dogs penned up for a few days and then all was back to "normal". Someone new lives in the house my fiance used to rent so its not my problem anymore. I guess that is just what you have to put up with when you live in the country. Where I live now, the neighbors have a german shepherd and a goat (that are buddies lol) that wander into my yard all the time. Oh well.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 8:35AM
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thanks for the update. I have a neighbor that thinks she doesn't need to come get her pet deer and pet dog which are on my property. She thinks i should just let them wander home. NOT! We told her she needs to come get them - and i suggested that she put tags on her dog and then we would have known who they belonged to!! I told her also that one of my dogs would just love to kill that deer. (true) I live out in the country and i have lots and lots of fencing. Dogs should not just run around loose as a way of life.

These types of people don't understand the underlying concepts regarding the laws of private property.

Thread officially closed.............

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 8:41PM
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