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bostoden

Staying safe with dangerous dogs next door

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I feel helpless and not sure where to turn.

I live in Centennial, CO and have owned my single family home for 6 years.   House  next door to me is a rental and their backyard faces one end of my ranch house.  

We have an old wooden fence that separates my property from the rental home owners property.  The landlord of the rental property rented the home to two individuals who brought three dogs with them.  One Pit bull and two German Shepherds.   The tenants keep the dogs in the backyard all day except for overnight hours.  Myself and other neighbor owners have two problems including incessant barking and feeling threatened by the dogs whenever we are in our yards.  We are working with animal control to get the barking under control however the dogs are trying to escape from the rental home backyard as they are left unattended most of time.  The dogs act very aggressively and defensive any time I am working in the yard and feel that I am at risk of being harmed.  A couple weeks ago one of the dogs busted through another portion of the fence that faces the street and acted in a menacing manner towards neighbors.  The tenant dog owners received an Animal at large warning.  The rental property owner patched up the fence where the dogs broke free and soon thereafter the dogs are back in the yard.  I have made two calls to the rental home owner however she is refusing to return my calls.  The tenants have been uncooperative with the barking issue and feel it to be a waste of time trying to get them to keep these dogs away from the fence.  So I have uncooperative tenants and an uncooperative owner not willing to work with me to secure the fence.  The fence is slowly becoming compromised and it's only a matter of time before they break into my backyard.

 

What rights if any do I have to get that fence secured by the rental home property owner?  It seems that it's going to take a dog attack to get animal control to remove the dogs from the rental property.  I don't want to wait for that to happen and see myself or someone else get hurt.  Is it within reason for me write a certified letter to the rental home owner asking for them to secure the old fence and again state the dogs are dangerous?  Could the landlord be held liable should one of the dogs get loose and maul someone?  The owner knows of the situation as the police called her the first time the dogs got loose.  Trying to avoid taking legal action and want to exhaust all other avenues first.  Is it my responsiblity to have a new property fence built to secure my yard and keep me safe even though I did not create the situation?   i don't know how to handle in in the most sensible way…   Thanks

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, bostoden said:

What rights if any do I have to get that fence secured by the rental home property owner?

 

Absolutely none. Self preservation is nobody's business but your own. If you have a crummy fence that won't withstand dogs pushing from the other side, shore it up and make it a solid barrier. That's on you.

 

39 minutes ago, bostoden said:

 It seems that it's going to take a dog attack to get animal control to remove the dogs from the rental property.

 

If you are that afraid of a dog attack on your own property, study your state's handgun or rifle laws and arm yourself so if they come into your yard and attack you, you just shoot them.

 

Again, self preservation is nobody's business but your own. You are the only one who can prevent injury or death to yourself from a wild animal. All anybody else will ever do is clean up the mess after you are chewed up.

 

39 minutes ago, bostoden said:

 Is it within reason for me write a certified letter to the rental home owner asking for them to secure the old fence and again state the dogs are dangerous?

 

Sure, it's within reason. Go ahead if it makes you feel better but the reality is that it isn't going to prevent anything. Sure, it provides notice if you need to sue later after you are chewed to pieces.

 

39 minutes ago, bostoden said:

Could the landlord be held liable should one of the dogs get loose and maul someone? The owner knows of the situation as the police called her the first time the dogs got loose.

 

Possibly, but very difficult to prove culpability on the part of a landlord.

 

39 minutes ago, bostoden said:

 Trying to avoid taking legal action and want to exhaust all other avenues first.  Is it my responsiblity to have a new property fence built to secure my yard and keep me safe

 

Yes. It is. And you can forget about the rest of that sentence.

 

Would you rather prevent being mauled by a vicious dog or whine "What are my rights - I can't afford a lawyer" from your hospital bed?

 

I know which choice I'd make.

 

39 minutes ago, bostoden said:

i don't know how to handle in in the most sensible way…

 

You do now.

 

By the way, I'm not a lawyer, the above is not legal advice, if you act (or don't act) on my comments you do so at your own risk.

 

 

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Sorry the intent is not to whine and complain, sorry you interpreted it in this manner.   My intent was only to find out what rights I have as a homeowner however I will contact a lawyer as I don't like the attitudes on this website.  Thanks  

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10 hours ago, bostoden said:

What rights if any do I have to get that fence secured by the rental home property owner?

 

None.  If you think the "old wooden fence" is not sufficient, you are free to build a more secure fence.  I'm curious why you think it's only the landlord's responsibility.  Is the fence on the landlord's property?  Is it on your property?  On the border?

 

 

10 hours ago, bostoden said:

It seems that it's going to take a dog attack to get animal control to remove the dogs from the rental property.

 

I would certainly hope so.  I don't know anywhere animal control will remove animals simply because of barking.

 

 

10 hours ago, bostoden said:

Could the landlord be held liable should one of the dogs get loose and maul someone?

 

It's not beyond the realm of possibility.

 

 

10 hours ago, bostoden said:

Is it my responsiblity to have a new property fence built to secure my yard and keep me safe even though I did not create the situation?

 

It is always your responsibility to take measures to protect yourself from physical danger.  It's also not anyone else's responsibility to deal with how you feel.  The dog owner's only responsibility is to ensure his dogs don't actually attack you, and, thus far, it appears he has fulfilled that responsibility.

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7 hours ago, bostoden said:

Sorry the intent is not to whine and complain, sorry you interpreted it in this manner.  

 

That's not what I was saying. What I was saying was: If you DON'T take appropriate measures to protect yourself you WOULD be whining and complaining after the damage/injury was done. ;)

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Question? Who does the fence belong to? If it is your fence you can remove it so the dogs can not roam freely. If it is their fence, have you tried License and inspections as it doesn’t sound like a sturdy fence. 

 

Not a lawyer, just years of dealing with poorly mannered neighbors. 

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On 5/25/2017 at 8:57 AM, bostoden said:

Sorry the intent is not to whine and complain, sorry you interpreted it in this manner.   My intent was only to find out what rights I have as a homeowner however I will contact a lawyer as I don't like the attitudes on this website.  Thanks  

I know this is old, I  might be able to help someone in a similar situation.

 

It sounds like the you are more afraid of the dogs than they are vicious. You did not mention any bites. The fact that the owners bring in the dogs at night supports my belief the dogs are not viscous and just reacting to your fear. Dogs that are likely to maul are isolated from all human contact. 

 

If I were you, I would talk with the owner of the dogs. Tell them that you are afraid of them and you need the owners help in changing the dogs reactions when you are out and about. This will also help to keep the dogs from trying to get out.

 

What I have done for my neighbors is, I make my dog sit, be sill and silent when my neighbors are out.  I scold for barking at kids and reward for the proper manners. You could even with the dog owners presence, toss a treat over the fence after they quiet down. Learning and use of the dogs names when the owner was not around would be helpful. 

 

Stopping your fear of the dogs is key to getting them to stop barking. When I am walking by a fenced yard and a strange dog barks at me, I  tell them good dog, because they are supposed to bark at strangers. By the second or third time walking by, the no longer bark. If I would have shown fear, that would identify me as a threat, and they would continue to bark. Because you have shown fear, it would take extra effort to change the dogs behavior toward you.

 

From what you have said, the dogs are reacting to you. The dog owners seem pretty responsible and respectful because you said they did not let the dogs out till the fence was fixed to the best of their ability. They don't want their dog biting anyone either, or they would loose the dog. 

 

For planned backyard parties they would probably put the dogs inside for the day because they would not want their dogs stressed by the activities.  If you work together to create an atmosphere of normalcy the dogs would learn to ignore what you do in your yard. 

 

I have had large dogs that could have easily jumped my 4 foot fence. In fact the only time one dog jumped was when someone was breaking into my van to chase them away from it. 

 

Talk to the owner of the dogs. People have forgotten how to communicate to solve problems.

 

Your rights are only on your property.

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