View Full Version : backyard hopping dogs.. i need help!!
01-10-2006, 04:00 PM
Anyone know about neighbhorhood law and fence issues, and about keep dogs out as well as in? SUPPOSEDLY our houdini dogs got out of our yard yesterday and I was supposed to be fined $500 but our neighbors are trying to be "nice". Our fence is a piece of crap and they could tlel the moment they moved in. We've tried to put logs infront of the holes, staple the fences pieces back that we can... just can't afford a brand new fence. What's weird is they have a bamboo fence stapled to ours, don't understand HOW the dogs got in there.
Is there anyway they can be responsible for keeping animals out? Or building a new fence?
01-10-2006, 04:03 PM
I have a friend that works in a law firm (several friends, actually... wonder what that says about me?), and she used to deal with dog bite cases alot. I'll ask around. Froom what I recall, though, the owner of the dog is responsible for the dog in the end.
01-10-2006, 05:33 PM
So, my friend says to contact your local humane society and ask them what the local regulations regarding this issue are.
01-10-2006, 07:14 PM
well not just the dogs too, but the rules on fences.. why is it only on our side and they don't have to even bother building one?
01-10-2006, 08:05 PM
well not just the dogs too, but the rules on fences.. why is it only on our side and they don't have to even bother building one?
Because they're your dogs.
I know here in NYC, the dog owner is responsible for keeping their dog where it belongs. Stands to reason when you look at it objectively. If the tables were turned, would you want to have to pay to build razor wire fencing because your neighbors like to raise pitbulls or Neopolitan Mastiffs?
And the Humane Society is often the first agency called in for disputes like this so they may have more than an inkling as to what the local laws state about it.
01-10-2006, 10:39 PM
still want to know about the fence thing. Why the city only built one and who it actually belongs to to fix it, ya know. The guy to the right of us, built his own infront. The neighbor that lived behind us before these people came to us with a half estimate of $1200, we were like nuh uh, not to just build the fence between us, that would have been an estimate for 2400 for his whole yard. Just sucks, cause the neighors have always had dogs, and they got into our yard, didn't seem like they really cared about keep the dogs in their yard, and we were more worried for their dogs than worried they were in our yard. One got in our pool and our dog wouldn't let it out, sorta, think she was trying to help the dog, keep trying to bite its paws, think she wantedto grab them to help the dog out. And animal control told me they were acting vicious, I actually laughed at him, the only thing my dogs got going for them is that they bark. Otherwise I'd highly doubt they'd really protect the house.
01-11-2006, 06:42 AM
Well, fence laws are a bit tricky and can be unfair.
The best thing you coulda done with your old backyard neighbor woulda been to get your own estimate. I remember the first subdivision we moved into, my Father and a few neighbors actually built our own fences. Not sure the reason as it was a new subdivision and heck, if you are putting so much energy into what sounds like a non-working bad patch job of your existing fence, or lack thereof, you might as well get a new and better one. I've had dogs before and they can find all kinds of ways around a shoddy fence.
Actually, the best solution is for you and your neighbor to share the cost of a fence. Mind you, hiring a company to build a fence CAN cost a LOT of money. I would rather build one myself, although I do know the hard work involved. A possible solution would be to offer to buy the materials for the company you hire to put in the fence (nails and wood. Cement for posts, things like that.) You might want to look at day laborers as well.
You may even consider just hiring to have the initial fence posts put up. On top of that, you may also have them put up the framework for the actual fence boards. These fence boards are actually the easiest part to nail on. Just keep a relatively equal distance between boards (1/8 th of an inch; eyeballing is fine) and keep them the same height off the ground.
In our state, the city government actually owns the stretch of land that is three feet from the fence line; it really isn't yours. But city officials don't really squabble or enforce any laws on these strips of land. They are mostly used to provide right-of-way for city pipes, phone lines, cable lines, etc. Although the city owns this land, it is left for the actual land owners to build/maintain a fence there if they want one or not. Cities are lazy and it's easier to look at a map and squabble property lines than actually build something. Sure, it's unfair, but that's how many municipalities operate.
I'd also like to say something that may help, if you think it will be something that may "bite" you in the future. My father, along with neighbors, enclosed his whole yard. For MANY years, all was good. We were three houses from the corner and the last two neighbors never built a fence at the time. Eventually, new neighbors moved in next to us and found out that according to property lines from the city office, our fence was ONE foot over into their yard and they wanted us to move it. I forgot if they paid us or they paid us, but we eventually agreed. These were, for lack of a better term, "White-Trash" style of neighbors...definitely country rednecks. I am not sure how they found out about it and why ONE foot meant so much to them (probably the realtor), but they never even put up a fence on their other side of the yard; it was still open. So, the moral is, either get a survey of your property lines or just wing it and HOPE any new neighbors do not magically find out this indescrepeny (sp) or at least hope you've moved away before then. :)
01-11-2006, 06:58 AM
well one of our ideas was to tell them to remove the bamboo they attached to our crappy ass fence, put up a 6' chain link fence and be all nice and friendly and watch them til they put up their own. Each neighbor has said it was our, cause nobody wants to have to repair a crappy ass fence. If the City owns it, then shouldn't they have to repair it? Or hence be responsible if our dogs can't stay in our yard cause of their crappy fence? But you're right on one thing, its very unfair. It would only be like 800 bucks for us to build the fence, but yet again all the work.
01-11-2006, 07:35 AM
Yeah, like I said, the city doesn't generally care. If you built a tool shed right next to the fence line, most cities won't hassle you, but by law, if you have to deal with some "bored" city inspector, he may because, by law, you gotta move the toolshed. The only time I see them build a fence is when a highway is enlarged and they build those great big concrete ones to block out the sound/lights from nearby traffic. Frankly, staring at a 20' concrete wall is not my idea of landscaping.
Yeah, each neighbor shifts responsibility because they don't want to pay for the cost or the time. Generally, my Dad will just build it himself, since he can control things and build something the way HE wants with no input from others.
You (and the neighbor) generally probably need to throw away all of the old fence and it's various patches anyway; sounds like it's rotted and or broken beyond repair. Building part of the fence is a good idea, but I would point out to your neighbor that you can only build part of it and if they cannot try to finish the rest. Maybe have something in writing. You can even agree to an "installment" plan of sorts, buil 1/4 of the section and the neighbor builds the other 1/4 and so on. A chain link fence is a bit trickier, since you may need to buy enough to cover the fence from end to end in the first place. You probably could get creative and build a free standing section, then add another really close by. Or just cut out the sections you need and attach tem. Sorta like the old style of making fences (40's-50's); they don't use a whole roll of chain link across in this case. That would probably work.
But get something in writing or some sort of proof that you entered into this in "good faith" because I can see a problem in the future where your bit of fence is up and standing and his isn't built (because of laziness on their part or thinking that it's still your problem and not theirs). So, the neighbor could be waiting for YEARS on you to finish the job.
The biggest thing in this case are your dogs. They get loose and can do anything, even if they are friendly. They are the biggest question and the biggest concern and the law states you gotta control them.
Here's another idea, which may be expensive (or not). Have you considered an "invisible fence" for dogs along with the elec. collar? If you only have one section of fence, you could lay down the ground work for this. This system should be available at any Petco or Petsmart location. Basically, it gives a mild electric discharge. I've seen one person use this in their front lawn and they own three Irish Setters. The dogs lay in the front yard but never go beyond it. After a training period, you can take the collar off. Maybe keep the line buried and repeat training if necessary. I know it's not "cheap", but it may be cheaper and less labor-intensive than putting up a fence.
But, I have been in a similiar situation, and frankly, I would rather enclose and protect my dogs rather than have them open to other people, even if those people are well-intentioned, perhaps their friends or kids are not. I had a dog that barked and it would get on my neighbors nerves, one in particular. Their kids were bad and would bang the fence or throw things at the dog. I'd hate to think if they could walk over and do "whatever" to my dog. There is even dog-knapping, especially for the medical field.
01-11-2006, 05:17 PM
well the problem is that I do seem to have houdini dogs, the fence isn't falling apart that bad, but our older lab used to JUMP the 7-8 ft fence, its nice that now she's too old and fat to do it. And I'm sure the puppy would keep trying til she did, if she hadn't busted her leg. The only thing we can think they did, was hop on a log and JUMP over,they couldn't have gotten through the fence, unless, they got a board lose, spent hours chewing through the bamboo fence on the other side and got throuh, the neighbor would have had to had the officer come back into our yard, put the board back in and they replace the bamboo fence before I had even gotten home. Damn officer didn't even tell me how anything happened, or if he put them back in our yard.
I don't think I could deal with the electric collar thing, i think mostly cause the hubby wouldn't, LOL, I would love more training with the barking, got the older dog quiet in the backyard, cause I'd pretty much smack her snout whenever I heard her in the back yard, yell and go out there and smack it, she really doesn't do it anymore, though the puppy is still a puppy, wish the older dog would help train her more, but she just seems to get back to what she used to get in trouble for, guess she thinks if the puppy is doing it I can too. Drives me insane.
But as it stands now, they have to jump it to get over it, or keep jumping at it for weeks and weeks to tear the entire thing down, which I don't think a PACK of dogs could :D
I am NOT a dog person, so it sucks that I have to deal with this while the hubby is out of town.
01-11-2006, 05:29 PM
No matter who's fence it is, it is your responsibility to keep your dogs under control. If there were no dogs, there'd be no fence problem. Dogs will continue to suprise their owners with their inventive ways of escaping. I saw a video of a dog Climbing A TREE to get over a fence. If they can get their front legs hooked on the top, they could also pull themselves over.
Is there someone at home when the dogs are put outside or do they stay out all day when there is no one home?
Here's another idea, which may be expensive (or not). Have you considered an "invisible fence" for dogs along with the elec. collar? ..... I know it's not "cheap", but it may be cheaper and less labor-intensive than putting up a fence.
No no no no no no no no. I would never even consider that as an option. It doesn't work for all dogs AND it doesn't stop any roaming dogs/animals from entering your property and bothering your pets.
Have you looked into taking some obiedience classes? A good trainer will work with you and help you train the dogs for better behavior. The dogs could also be bored. Do they have toys, Chew bones or something to keep them occupied? Apparently the neighbors and their yard are much more attractive then their own.
01-11-2006, 06:04 PM
Well, having been someone at City Hall that was reponsible for sending out those "bored city inspectors" ;) Just call your local building department and they'll tell you the maximum height per style of fence allowed, and how close you can build to it.
Outdoor dogs are too much work for me. I love dogs but give me a nice house dog (not a lap dog) that likes a good walk or run each day and I'm happy.
01-11-2006, 10:16 PM
they are free to come in and go outside, except for at night, they are locked in. We only had a problem with the older dog the first few months we were here. I think its just the puppy and the old dog following along. And we can't afford obeidence classes. The hubby just hasn't gotten on the ball to train the puppy, she's too scared of me to really listen. Think she can tell I'm not a dog person.
01-12-2006, 02:46 AM
How about the kids teaching the dogs, assuming they are old enough?
Being friendly and at-ease with dogs (heck animals) are one of those things you learn when young, learn slowly yourself when older, or never learn. Actually, a puppy is a great time to get used to a dog and discover a bond with an animal.
The shock is more mildly annoying than actual hurting (of course, i should try it out), but to back myself up on this, I HAVE been shocked as a kid, but I wasn't grounded (was an accident). Anyway!, Mina does have a good point about that type of fence.
Well, you either draw up some sort of legal agreement with your neighbor and start on the fence, Do-it-Yourself over time, or put the dogs inside when you are at work (garage?) and let them run in the afternoons. If you think your husband can handle it, wait for him, but try to control dem dogs. :) Best to handle it yourself and/or with his knowledge via phone, but up to you for the moment.
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