Advice on Neighbors with Dogs


#1

I will start by saying I am not a pet person. We don;t have a pet currently and I don;t see us ever having one in the future. I love other people's pets as long as they are responsible for them.

However, we just moved this fall and two of the neighbors on our new culdesac are really irresponsible about their pets.

One has a large hound dog....that belongs to the husband, apparently the wife hates it and whenever she is home alone, she throws the dog in the backyard (no matter what the weather). When he is out alone he HOWLS, and HOWLS. Seriously it is really loud and sounds like he is being killed. It's not too bad for us if our windows are closed, but I cannot imagine how the people closer to them deal with it, and if your are outside it is really annoying. I understand that dogs bark occasionally, and have never had a problem with that, but this will go on for hours sometimes entire days.

The other neighbor has a small black dog, it really small, and they often let him out the front door to do his business, and forget about him. Apparently they don't like picking up poo in their backyard, and want it clean for the kids to play in. They leave him to wander the culdesac until they remember to open the door and call him back in. This also means his business often happens other places than his own yard. This morning leaving our house I nearly ran him over as he is small, and blends in with the road. I got out of the car took him home, and the neighbors seemed annoyed that I had done so. This neighbors kids also have a habit of leaving their bikes,scooters, toys etc. all over the culdesac.....even in, other people's lawns and in the street.

Any advice on how I handle this? We never had problems with these things at our old house as all our neighbors were super responsible with their pets. The only expierence I have with this is as an apartment manager, and I can't exactly fine my neighbors. How do we possibly address these problems without making hard feelings, or accidentally turning the neighbors dog into street pizza?


#2

Unless you have some kind of neighborhood committee that handles this kind of thing you'll have to call the police. Letting an animal howl for hours on end is against the law in most cities, as well as littering and not controlling pets. I'm afraid that's you're only recourse since the neighbors are apparently insensitive to the way their behavior impacts others.


#3

call animal control if the dog has been allowed to roam free or locket up unattended for hours, or seems to be in pain


#4

I agree with other posters - leaving a dog outside for hours or days chained up sounds like there may be other forms of animal abuse here. Besides that, allowing your dog to howl for hours or days is illegal.

I’d call the cops anonymously. I had to do this for my neighbors who let their dogs bark until all hours of the night. Cops will generally give a gentle reminder fior the first call. This is the best way to ensure things between your neighbors and you stay pleasant. If they know you called because you tried to talk to them about it, they can get nasty.

Also: The bulldog roaming the neighborhood is a safety hazard. No one ever thinks a dog will bite until it does. And for the record - I am a HUGE animal person and a major dog person at that. I love these animals and I cringe when I hear people treating animals they way your neighbors are.


#5

I would check out your local ordinances. I know in the city where I live, if an animal is not kept in a fenced yard, it must be on a leash at all times. Otherwise you can call animal control to pick up an animal that is just wandering the streets. You may have to call the police and let them know about the noise situation.


#6

I think the courteous thing to do is to first go talk with the neighbors. They may not even realize how irritating the situation is since no one has ever comfronted them about it. Be nice and polite but honest. If the behavior does not change or improve, then you can call aninal control, they usually will leave a notice of disturbance. That alone will hopefully be enough to scare a little sense into them.
Honestly, I think a lot of people just don't realize that those behaviors bother others so much.;)


#7

[quote="runwaymodel, post:6, topic:231711"]
I think the courteous thing to do is to first go talk with the neighbors. They may not even realize how irritating the situation is since no one has ever comfronted them about it. Be nice and polite but honest. If the behavior does not change or improve, then you can call aninal control, they usually will leave a notice of disturbance. That alone will hopefully be enough to scare a little sense into them.
Honestly, I think a lot of people just don't realize that those behaviors bother others so much.;)

[/quote]

I second the notion of trying to deal with it without bringing in the authorities first, unless you have reason to believe they will react negatively.


#8

I think good, old fashioned hand written notes will do well. Don't treaten just explain that you are new, and do not like this behavior.

For the barking dog, suggest to the neighbor some training literature or give them a list of shelters. Let them know it is not polite behavior.

For the dog that poops in the yard explain that you expect your neighbor to come pick it up. Ask for his phone number so you can gladly call him when the time arrises.

As far as the kids and their toys, I'd suggest that you consider any toy left in your yard a donation to your personal connection, and any toy that has the unfortunate to be in the path of your car a liability that you will discard for the saftey of the neighborhood.


#9

[quote="Havard, post:7, topic:231711"]
I second the notion of trying to deal with it without bringing in the authorities first, unless you have reason to believe they will react negatively.

[/quote]

That's the real problem, I think. The out of control dog/toys and the howling hound are only symptoms of a "I can do whatever I please and the heck with anyone else" attitude so many have these days. It can be downright dangerous to talk to a neighbor about their lack of courtesy. Alix stated that the neighbor seemed annoyed when her dog was brought to her door. No one needs trouble with people one has to live next to.

The authorities are there to keep neighbors from squabbling--that's their job. We had some neighbors who were always loudly fighting with each other, so we called the police. One of the parties got really mad thinking another person in the house had called the police. We were glad he didn't know we had called the police, I can tell you. Thankfully, they moved out soon afterwards. These days one can't be too careful. Even seemingly civil neighborhoods can harbor some really angry and vengeful people. I thing it's better to be safe than sorry.


#10

I like to put myself in their situation. If I was the owner of those dogs I would want someone to approach me and tell me. I’d much rather prefer than get a knock on the door from the authorities.
I do agree that if the neighbors seem…hostile, then you should just contact animal control and not get personally involved.
What I would absolutely do is document when you talked to the neighbors or when you called animal control. Its good to do this in case you ever need to refer back or if they deny they were ever given notice, verbal or written.


#11

There is a dog that lives across a drainage ditch from our house. I think there is a dog door that he goes out. When he starts barking it is late at night, sometimes in the middle of the night. I have called the local constable several times. They say when they go over to the house, it is completely dark and no one comes to the door. So I speculate that the owners work during the night. We are close to a nature trail and a bayou, and there are possums, raccoons and other night roamers that the dog might be reacting to, but that's not my problem.

The dog will bark for HOURS and it is a high-pitched bark. Our bedroom is on the 2nd floor and the sound comes right up through the window. I have to put ear plugs in, and put on either headphones or put the pillow over my head. One evening I was waiting for the dog to stop barking but it didn't, so I walked around to their back fence (which is open to a nature trail that we share), kicked the fence hard, and yelled "SHUT UP!" at the dog. Amazingly, it did! And didn't bark again that night or for a few days afterward. I've had to repeat that 2 more times. But if the dog starts barking in the middle of the night, I can't get up, get dressed and go over there, so I also wrote them a note and left it in their mailbox. Here is what I wrote:

Your dog was barking at 3:00 a.m. this morning. This happens on a regular basis. When your dog starts barking, it doesn’t stop after a few barks but continues to bark repeatedly, sometimes for over an hour!

Would you please make sure that your dog cannot be outside barking during the night? I don’t understand how you can allow this dog to bark for HOURS without intervention. It disturbs everyone nearby.

I actually like the instant results of kicking the fence and yelling. :rolleyes: Calling the police achieved nothing, because they never found the owners at home. But since I left the note, there haven't been any more 2 hour barking sessions. If the dog does bark, he might go for 15-20 minutes and then I guess they take him back inside or something.

But in your case, I would probably go ahead and call the police, but make sure the cops do not tell the neighbors who called. I would NOT talk to the neighbors and THEN call the authorities, because then they will know exactly who ratted them out.

As for the little dog wandering...call the ASPCA to come and pick him up. One time is all it will take for the owners to keep him on a leash. I hate to take a chance that the little dog might get euthanized if the owners don't go and get him, though. Your other alternative is to do nothing, except whenever he poops on your property, bag it up and take it back to their yard.

Never heard the term "street pizza!" LOL That's a hazard of letting your dog or cat run loose.

p.s. It is a pity that people have dogs that are unsuitable as pets. Hounds are working dogs, that sounding should have the purpose of tracking a scent. Hounds are not city dogs and need a LOT of exercise and work, work, work.


#12

I’ve dealt with this before, and I can tell you from experience that someone who is so careless and selfish can not be reached in any other way than by an authority figure knocking on their door.

Call the city and log a complaint with the code enforcement office about both dogs. Remember to document EVERYTHING - when you call, when you see the offences happening. You don’t have to be a freak about it, but cover yourself and make sure that if someone comes back and says you are lying that you have the data to back it up.

These things never get better on their own, and trust me it is hell living next to neighbors in the summer time who are obnoxious dog owners.

~Liza


#13

I would not bother to try and talk sense into these people. I have lived in many places, in several states, and regardless of local ordinances, people still react like it's not a problem and that clearly you are the one with the issue. In the first case, she clearly is aware how much the dog is baying (maybe you could talk to the husband - does he even know this is happening to his dog?), and in the second case, they obviously didn't care to have the dog back on their property.

Some examples from what I've seen:

1) a man in one neighborhood refused to call his dog back to his yard from the street and told me if I had a problem I should walk my dog somewhere else. then his wife came out, and he told her "some broad" wanted the dog back in the yard, and she said they shouldn't have to because the dog was "nice."
2) a woman on a public bike path refused to put her dog back on the leash because her dog was "nice." it was trotting along way ahead of her and well out of her sight, as that particular section of trail, about a mile long, was very windy.
3) neighbors in apartment buildings have said since the yard wasn't my property they could let the dog do what they thought was acceptable (that is, keeping it off leash and not picking up waste).
4) people very rarely apologize when their dog runs up to me and/or my dog, even if it's obviously being nasty, and especially if it's tiny. because nasty tiny dogs are somehow so much better than nasty big dogs.
5) speaking of nasty little dogs, a guy at my last apartment complex had two little chihuahuas that he'd let outside unsupervised. they were extremely dog aggressive and would run the length of two buildings when they saw me with my dog. he never apologized, and one time even had the balls to suggest that I was breaking "apartment policy" by having a dog over the weight limit (actually, my dog was 30lbs *under *it). and of course, the whole time I'm terrified that one is going to bite my dog and he'll bite back (and obviously hurt the tiny thing), and then I'll get sued or something.

These sorts of things happened all the time. Different states, different socioeconomic areas, etc. People always think their dog is better than everyone else's, just like their kids are better than everyone else's, and therefore the rules don't apply to them.

While I used to be one of those "I just love all dogs!!!" kind of people, after growing up and seeing how people really handle their animals, now I'm a "I'm sure you love your dog and think it's the best, and maybe it is great, but that doesn't mean I want it in my space, and I certainly don't want to step in its business" type of person.

When we eventually get a house I will be putting my foot down that my neighbors are far enough away to hopefully reduce some of the annoyances that are bound to happen..

Good luck.


#14

That’s what I had to do with the people that used to live next door to me. Their dogs kept getting out of their fence, and into our yard and relieving themselves in our yard. they wouldn’t come clean it up so I bagged it up and tossed it over the fence for them.

I agree though. Next time you see the dogs out, just call animal control to come pick them up.


#15

Reading this thread just makes me thankful that I live in a more rural setting. When people have more space around them, these types of problems get smaller.


#16

It sounds like your neighbors have a long history of completely disregarding how their actions impact those around them. With people like that, it’s probably safer to call animal control than to confront them yourself because you don’t know how the might retaliate, and talking to them would almost certainly have no effect anyway. They are breaking several laws by allowing a dog to howl unceasingly and letting it roam the neighborhood unleashed and they will have to either put a stop to the behavior or receive citations until the dogs are eventually removed from the home. Either way, your problem will get solved!

As for the toys and bikes left on your lawn, if that happened to me I would take the toy into the garage and wait for them to come looking for it. When they do, I’d tell them that I didn’t know whose it was and that I was just about to donate it to the local thrift store because I figured that any kid who would abandon their things on someone else’s lawn clearly did not want them anymore. Hopefully they’d get the message. And if it happened again, well, maybe I really would just go ahead and donate it… :stuck_out_tongue:


#17

Ok... first of all, I'm not big on hurting animals. But I often remember a story about a dog that would NOT shut up, whose owners just didn't seem to care, until a neighbor came out with a shot gun, and (like an idiot) shot it off in the air. Loudly screaming the next shot was for the dog. And that was the last time they ever heard from that dog again.

I would probably write a letter without signing it. As I wouldn't want to be a target for these people. But I would tell them the problem, and I would tell them if they don't solve the problem, I'll help them solve the problem by calling the authorities. That would be the only chance I'd give them to take care of it.


#18

As for the toys and bikes left on your lawn, if that happened to me I would take the toy into the garage and wait for them to come looking for it. When they do, I’d tell them that I didn’t know whose it was and that I was just about to donate it to the local thrift store because I figured that any kid who would abandon their things on someone else’s lawn clearly did not want them anymore. Hopefully they’d get the message. And if it happened again, well, maybe I really would just go ahead and donate it…

Perhaps you’re be facetious, but…

Then we’d be reading a thread from someone about how their crazy neighbor kidnaps the kids’ toys and holds them for ransom. And should they call the police, because the neighbor donated their child’s bike to the local thrift shop??

Seriously, though, why is it out of the question to wait for the kids to return for their things (or walk the toys to their home if you know which house) and simply say :“Kids, please don’t leave your toys on my lawn, OK? Thanks.”


#19

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.