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Old 06-26-2004, 06:59 PM
shredhead (DOG LOVER)'s Avatar
shredhead (DOG LOVER) shredhead (DOG LOVER) is offline
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Default HELP, Im getting complaints

Hi, I have been getting complaints that my dogs are barking and deficating on my neighbor's lawn. This is a total lie. The only dogs that ever bark live on the other side of my neighbor and the only time my dog deficated on my neighbor's lawn, my neighbor picked it up and threw it on my garage. I should be the one complaining.

So my problem is that i live in a private community. I have gotten a letter to show up at a community meeting (kind of like a court). Please help me on what to say and what to do to help me keep my dogs. If the board feels that my dogs are a nuisance than i might have to get rid of my dogs which is not an option for me.

My meeting is on July 7th so please help and respond quickly.

Thank you in advance for help.
  #2  
Old 06-26-2004, 10:34 PM
emc emc is offline
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Keep your dogs in the house and only let them out when supervised by you.
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Old 06-27-2004, 01:05 AM
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I would do that but the thing is that they dont bark at all and we keep them in the backyard.
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Old 06-27-2004, 08:17 AM
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You may have already done this, but I would go to the complaining neighbor and have a really nice, controlled talk about the situation. Since your neighbor threw the waste at your garage...I'm guessing you two are not on the best of terms. If I wanted to keep my dog...I'd be the bigger person here and apologize profusely (even if you don't think it was your dog, or is your dog barking..THEY do) In alot of private communities there are lots of rules and all you can do is go and discuss this complaint...and hope for the best. Can you take other neighbors that could back you up????? Surely if dogs on the other side are extremely noisey...there are other people you could talk to to testify to that. You would need that...otherwise it's between just you and the complaining neighbor and that's going to get you nowhere. You could have other neighbors put in writing their statements..if they don't want to go to the meeting. Sorry so long..but if what you say is true, it should be easy to get help from other people. I don't think I'd let the dogs outside all day just now either. Even if you know they don't bark, it might show your neighbor that you are trying to cooperate. Like it or not...I think you have to get on better terms with them. Good luck!!!! I'll be rooting for you.
  #5  
Old 06-27-2004, 10:27 AM
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Debi's suggestion is the best thing to try first, although you really don't want to commit to an apology on terms that you are in any way admitting that your dogs are doing the incessant barking. You'd be better served by expressing your regret that the neighborhood dogs' barking is so disturbing to your neighbors. In the meantime, you need to be gathering evidence to defend your dogs.

Have you thought about documenting the times that dogs are heard barking by tape recording and keeping a written journal of the day and time and where your dogs are at the time, possibly backed up by a time/date stamped videotape or photo?

The really infuriating part of this is that much of the outcome is going to depend on what kind of dogs you have and what kind of dogs the others have. If you have a large dog and they have a smaller dog, or if you have a Rottie and they have a Lab (for example), you're probably going to get the blame. Another factor is going to be which of you carries the most influence.

Back yourself up with evidence - perhaps - and this is gross - bag a couple of "samples" left on your neighbor's yard and a couple of the same from your dogs in your yard and show them the difference in size, color, etc., although if you can demonstrate this with photos or videotape it would probably be much appreciated. Our system of laws requires that the plaintiff (your neighbors) prove their allegations. Demand that they offer proof that it is always your dogs. That's impossible, especially since when one dog in a neighborhood barks, the others join in. That doesn't guarantee your neighborhood association will play by those rules, though. If you have some good evidence on your side and your neighborhood association still goes against you, have an attorney - one with a very creative mind - contact them with the possibility of a suit filed against them in court; try to enlist any animal advocacy groups in your area on your side, maybe even get them to join you in the suit. After all, there aren't any proscriptions about owning dogs in your subdivision, are there? And isn't it reasonable to expect that dogs are going to bark sometimes? Of course, this is a last resort, as most judges look at barking dog cases with all the enthusiasm of muddy dog looking at a bathtub.

Truthfully, if it were me, I'd be looking for a better neighborhood and putting my house on the market. But I really despise those kind of neo-Fascist environments anyway. The whole concept of making an investment in a home and then having everyone else be able to tell me what I can and can't do on my own property just strikes me as ludicrous. But I'll cut off my rant on personal freedoms and responsibility.

Good luck with this. I'm afraid you're going to need it. These people usually attack the person they think is the most vulnerable.

By the way, you'll get a chuckle out of this. I had a neighbor once who kept calling me at 3:00 a.m. or so in the morning to complain about my dog barking. My dog was asleep on my couch. He was snoring, but I doubt she could hear that! After telling her for the third time that he was in the house at night, I got smart and waited until about 5:00 a.m. (I knew she left for work at 8:00 so it didn't give her time to really get back to sleep) and called her and told her not to ever call again about my dog barking at night because he slept in the house on the couch and her phone calls were waking him up. That's the last I heard from her.

Last edited by Renee750il; 06-27-2004 at 11:03 AM.
  #6  
Old 06-27-2004, 04:33 PM
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Here's something else. Did you sign anything giving these people authority to make you do anything? If you did sign something, get it out and read it carefully to see just how much power the neighborhood association actually has and whether or not they have the power, in reality, to force you to abandon your dogs. You might also check your state's statutes on pet animals. Many times these types of associations take more power than they are legally entitled to.
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Old 06-27-2004, 04:35 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Well, I went to my neighbor and he was really mean about it. He started to curse at me and said I hope you have to get rid of your dogs. I really didnt expect him to be THAT mean but he was. He needs to get better things to do because he is the only neighbor that seems to notice my dogs barking. All my other neighbors including the 3 houses behind me and the neighbor that lives to the left of me have never complained except for a hole that broke into the wall.

Currently I am just gathering evidence that our dogs are not the ones to blame but I can't find as much as I was hoping. I had these complaints made about my dogs about 3 to 5 months ago and I have been keeping a close eye on this since. Just yesterday I got a letter saying I have to go to the meeting.

Now I don't have as much proof that my dogs aren't the ones to blame as I did 3 - 5 months ago. The only thing I can prove with evidence now is that my dogs are not barking.
  #8  
Old 06-27-2004, 04:44 PM
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Please, please, sit down and write everything that occured in your meeting with your neighbor. Do it now while you remember it, including the conversation.

It sounds like this is just a personal vendetta with this neighbor. Does he act like this with anyone else, or just you? Can you think of any reason - rational or not - why he has such a miserable attitude?
  #9  
Old 06-27-2004, 04:56 PM
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Wow..Renee, you are so right here....I suggested the apology, but you surely wouldn't want to be admitting guilt. I was more just thinking of trying to make amends with the neighbor. I suspect since he was outside throwing dog poo...hey, that's alot of anger, so maybe this has escalated beyond complaining about the dogs. Maybe some bad words have been exchanged and now it is a power play between people. I've heard of housing authority having total control over their rules and regulations. They are going to have to be a peace maker here.......I wanted her to be sure she did have other people to help back her up. I'd never want to be so controlled either....ever. If this neighbor is an egghead.......surely other folks think so, too. If not...I'd be trying with everything I had to get help from everyone. I love your suggestion regarding taping and such. I know she can't just go in that meeting and simply state 'my dogs don't bark', sure they do. I wondered if they were home all day, or gone.....something to consider cause just like children, our pets can be little angels when we're home and little monsters when we're not.
  #10  
Old 06-27-2004, 05:13 PM
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Ok I went to his front porch and said "Hey I wanted to talk to you about my dogs."
He said,"Theres nothing to talk about, theyre a nuisance and they shouldn't be living in a place like this." Than he cursed that my dogs are endless trouble and that all my neighbors thought so too. Now I don't know whats going on because he is the only one that has ever complained. I've only been living in this community for about a year and haven't had the chance to meet my close neighbors.

I really don't know what this guys problem is. I also sometimes think that this guy prejudice against oriental people. The house on the other side of him has a dog that barks once in a while just like my dogs but I'm sure they haven't been complained against. There is also a beagle about 1 house down from him that barks a lot because he is left alone.

I also have friends that live in the community that have dogs that also often bark. My friends have told me that there have been absolutely no problems with their neigbhors.

Also yesterday, Me n my friends were talking in the driveway of the house when a lady that had lost her puppy came and asked us if we had seen it. She than also went to the neighbor that complains to me. They ended up having a long discussion while continually pointing at me and saying things to neighbors I don't know. I am assuming because the lady than walked away staring at me that it wasn't in my favor.

Reasons that my neighbor has problems with me.
1. Racism against Asians
2. Has nothing better to do so starts trouble only with our family
3. Really thinks that my dogs are the problem but all the other dogs around the community don't ever bark.
4. He just doesn't like our family for no apparent reason.
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