Dangerous Dog Help

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We moved into our rental house in February of this year. Since then, our two English Bull Terriers have gone through the neighbors rotting fence by pushing through the boards. Every time they have either knocked on the door, or we caught them doing it and called them back through.

The neighbors have two small pomeranians, and have expressed concern for their safety. After the second break in, around June, I went to the neighbors and asked how we could help get the fence up to par. We offered labor or supplies. They told us that per the HOA they had to give 2 weeks notice before doing any repairs, and were going to have the fence fixed soon.

3 days ago I came home to find one of their dogs dying in my back yard. I called our local animal control since the neighbors weren't home. They informed us that if they picked up the dog, the neighbors would be charged, so we decided to wait for them to get home. The dog died in the meantime. They arrived home and knocked on the door before we could go to them. They informed us that another dog was dead in their yard. They requested money at first, we refused and told them to call the police to have this handled legally.

The police came and calmed the waters. The neighbors filed a complaint against our larger dog claiming he is a dangerous dog. The complaint states that 2 weeks ago my dog charged a resident to attack and he fended him off with a shoe and ran inside. He never notified us of this event, and didn't call animal contol either. He also claimed that he saw blood on my dogs mouth after their dogs were hurt, which is impossible since no one, not even me, was home at the time. I am very sorry that the dogs were injured, of course, but this could have been prevented. We offered help. Since the fence is not ours, we cannot just tresspass into their yar to fix their fence. We did attach some extra boards to our side of the fence, but the wood is rotting and they just didn't hold.

I have to surrender my dog to animal control on Monday. They will not be evaluating him, only holding him until my court date. The judge will decide if my dog is dangerous without any proof, only my word against theirs. I have had everyone who has ever met my dog write reference letters.

Sorry this is so long, I'm just wondering if anyone has been through this and has any tips. I have the letters and a lot of pictures of the dogs with my three kids. We have had Leo since birth and have never had any complaints against him at all. He is a hyper dog but not vicious.

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First of all, dog liability laws are different from state to state and you didn't provide yours in spite of the rules of the site requesting that you do so.

Second, you have two issues to face.

1 - A decision of the judge as to whether your dogs are dangerous or not. That's probably going to be based on what the dogs did and not what anybody says about them.

2 - Whether you owe your neighbors any money. That's going to be based on negligence law and statutes. But, basically, you were notified that your dogs were a potential danger to your neighbors and you failed to properly keep your dogs confined to your property. Unfortunately, your excuses about rotting fence and putting boards up that didn't work aren't likely to cut it when it comes to negligence. Can't really say anything further about that without being able to look up your state's dog liability laws. But you can do that at:

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Honestly IMO you have a nightmare on your hands. First of all do not treat this anything less than Life or Death! But most importantly Do NOT TRUST anything the officials say... READ everything! I'm not advocating breaking the law but sadly I have read too many stories of dogs not getting their day in court and there for me personally I'd get my dog out of that jurisdiction now.

Many things are going to factor in the courts decision to either define your dog as a Not a "dangerous dog" ,"Dangerous Dog" or " Humanely Euthanize" . Yes, if you look through State laws and local city codes (some of which are out dated IMO but still on the books) all of these are an option for the Judge. Also if you turn him over on Monday read the paper work, from what I have learned that paperwork will have something in it stating you are GIVING up ownership of your dog, there for they no longer need your permission to do anything.

I do not know your specific town and such but I do know that dogs do not get a fair deal in court more often than not.

My hope is that your situation does not end the way I have seen others end lately.

If you want to talk more please email

Be prepared and Good Luck!

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I understand what you are saying. However, in reality an evaluation while the dog is impound may not result in an accurate result because the environment in which the dog is in will be stressful.

If you choose to turn the dog over, I would certainly obtain an Attorney with Dog Law experience ASAP! There was a case in Austin TX where 3 dogs were ordered to be euthanized due to an incident with an other dog and human. Now what actually happened is not the important part, the important part is that upon the Judge ordering the dogs be euthanized, they were killed with in hours of that decision with-out notice to the owner and unfairly before the owner could file for an appeal hearing which by law they were allowed but not given. Some things in life we can get a "Do Over" but somethings we can't Redo.

I wish I could help more, but I guess giving you insight into the "what if's" will hopefully help you make the best decision for you and your dog.

Please keep me posted on how things are going especially if they are not going well... Facebook is a wonderful tool! LOL

Take Care!

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After further guidance--- GET THE DOG OUT IMMEDIATELY! email me at *******

Edited by FindLaw_AHK
This post has been edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator

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