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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

I am going absolutely mental and I am not sure I am over reacting.

My neighbors dog runs around the neighbor hood unleashed, unwatched and has no tags. (Maine as far as I know does not have a leash law)

My Problem with this is, I have no fence on my property (we just had the house built). When my kids are outside playing, the dog comes into my yard and romps on my kids (this dog is very prone to nipping), When I take my pup out to relieve himself the other dog runs over and distracts my pup (makes it next to impossible for him to relieve himself when this other dog is around), Also the dog is (imho) overly aggressive with my dog, which I don't really want my dog to learn this behavior. I am also pretty sure this dog is going through my trash at night. And positive he is pooping on my lawn where my kids play. I don't let my own dog poop on the lawn where my kids play. Of course the neighbors do not clean up after him.

So my question is: am I over reacting for not wanting this dog on my property? How do I get through to the owner that I don't want their dog on my property, without being a "bad neighbor"?

My wife and I are seriously at wits end. We love our pup, and want him to enjoy playing in his yard!

Thanks all and I look forward to your help!!!!
 

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If a good stern talk with your neighbors doesn't help, I'd honestly call animal control ASAP. That's rediculous that they'd let their dog do that to you and your family. They don't need to be owning a dog if it's pretty much just going to be an irritating stray.
 

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From the Maine statutes describing the state's dog laws:

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 719. Uncontrolled Dogs.
§3911. Dogs at large
It is unlawful for any dog, licensed or unlicensed, to be at large, except when used for hunting. The owner or keeper of any dog found at large is subject to the penalties provided in this chapter. [1999, c. 254, §3 (amd).]

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1987, c. 643, § 1, eff. March 25, 1988; 1999, c. 254, § 3.


Your neighbor is breaking the law.
 

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i don't see z ozer dog fault in this, so there's no need to call animal control.. u shud talk to the owners n make them understand..

instead of calling someone from the animal control, i suggest u call someone from a dog-shelter if ever the need arise..
 

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Yeah, I would first talk to the owners. If that doesn't help then give animal control a call.
 

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If you know where this dog lives, you need to make a visit to the home, pronto. You have kids who should be able to play outside, not to mention your own dog. If this dog comes to your yard and bites your kids or dog, how will you feel then? I don't think it's Maine as a state that has a leash law, generally it's done by town. Call your town's town hall and find out what the law is, ask how to get a copy of it or google it online. If there is a leash law where you live, tell the dog owners this and work on getting something in print. Explain that you have a right to have your kids/dog out, without another dog being there. They will probably say how nice their dog is but explain that if something happens and the dog bites a child, you will have no choice but to contact the proper authorities. If you talk to the owner and the dog is still loose, you contact animal control the very next time it's out. If you have no AC, then your local police department is who you would contact.
Welcome to the board...I'm in NH, my husband was raised in Maine!
 

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This from experience! Lets say you talk to your neighbor, and they turn out to be nice people, and they will try to restrain their dog, but always seems to be for a while and then the dog will be back, plus you said their are others dogs wondering by also. You have to think fence in the future, if you want to be completely happy there. I am sorry for your situation because I went through that and there are some dogs running loose here that would attack my small dogs for sport. So I just built a comlete fence around my whole property I have to open a gate to drive on my property, and I love it!!!:) So they have alot of area to play in.
 

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This from experience! Lets say you talk to your neighbor, and they turn out to be nice people, and they will try to restrain their dog, but always seems to be for a while and then the dog will be back, plus you said their are others dogs wondering by also. You have to think fence in the future, if you want to be completely happy there. I am sorry for your situation because I went through that and there are some dogs running loose here that would attack my small dogs for sport. So I just built a comlete fence around my whole property I have to open a gate to drive on my property, and I love it!!!:) So they have alot of area to play in.
I agree. It is terrible that your neighbors are acting like that for sure. I would definitely talk to them about the situation with their dog, however, if things don't change I would go the fence route as well. A fence is assurance that you are doing things to keep your loved ones and property safe as well, especially when you have irresponsible neighbors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you to everyone for your advice and imput.

I can't seem to get her when she is home. Her sitter is around, but I don't want to bring it up with him. I wrote her a letter outlining all my concerns. I wonder if you think putting a letter in her mail box is a good idea, at least until I can get down there to talk to her? I see the vet today and am going to ask about leash laws, though I did find that Maine does have leash laws.
I am very upset about this, but since she will be our neighbor for a long time and we have similarly aged children, I don't want to cause a feud. Ultimately I intend to put up a fence, though we wanted to do an electronic fence originally. I am a little peeved that I have to go to the expense of building a fence to keep HER dog OUT. It makes sense if I am building it to keep mine in.
I should mention that there is no way she hasn't heard me yell at the dog to go home and I have asked her daughters in front of her on several occasions to keep their dog out of our yard. This is one reason for writing the letter so that it is more formal than just a verbal request. Would it make sense to give a copy of the letter to animal control in my town and let her know I have done so or does this already get the ball rolling with Animal Control?
Animal Control is definitely a last resort, but I will keep my kids safe even at the risk of being friendly with the neighbors.

I should clarify, that hers is the only dog in the neighborhood that runs freely. Other dogs have been off leash, but are trained to stay in their own yard and do. We had on incident when we first moved in and one the day we got our dog, where another neighbor's dog came into our yard, but the neighbor was right there and called their dogs back and have kept them in their own yard since.

Is the letter a good idea or should I try to get to her early in the morning before work?

Thank you
 

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A letter is a good idea as it puts things down and sets a date. I would CC animal control etc. at well.

The danger to your kids goes well beyond the dog nipping. The dog could have something like Hookworms which humans can contract. I believe humans can also get round worms for coming in contact with dog poo. Since the dog is going where your kids play, they have the opportunity to contract hooks if the neighbor dog has them (and a dog running at learge can have them). Even if you clean the poop up the egs can remain. Hook worms enter thru the skin (bare feet should not be allowed with your kids for this reason).

If the dog is easy to handle and catch, I would also take the dog to their house and tie it on the front porch out of the weather. Hopefully the dog will bark and get the owner's attention.

Building a fence is the best solution. Quite honestly, a fence is better that an electronic fence for a LOT of reasons. Yes.. it keeps this one dog out but it keeps other things out too that you may find undesirable, including other kids, other dogs etc. It will also contain your dog and your kids to your property.

I like a fence a lot.
 

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I'm almost positive Maine has a leash law. Where in Maine are ya? I'm way up North. I agree with Elana on the fence. I am going to fence in our yard in to keep the neighborhood kids out so I can put Tiberius outside when I'm home.
 

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A "letter" verses a "face to face".

When you talk face to face, you can get instint exchange of thought on the subject, But you could lose your temper, you have a better assessment of the person take on subject matter. Also you may slip up and say something spontaneously you may regret having said.

With a letter you can organize your thoughts better and not forget to leave something out, ( like a grocery list). But you will also be sacrificing some of the above, face to face.

So maybe a letter that also indicates a willingness to meet in person for further discussion to this matter! That would be my best choice.:) All this to keep things peacefull and civil. Both parties will most likely be more relaxed with a pre-letter.
 

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I would NOT cc animal control if this is your initial contact and you have never talked to your neighbor before. If you're trying to avoid a feud, the worst thing you can do is essentially turn someone in to the authorities before even giving them a chance to rectify the situation.

I also think that if you think you can handle a face to face talk (without losing your cool no matter what happens), that would be best. Words are so easily misinterpreted.

I am a little peeved that I have to go to the expense of building a fence to keep HER dog OUT. It makes sense if I am building it to keep mine in.
I will shortly be putting a fence up around my five acres and my motivation is mostly that just about all of my neighbors let their dogs run at liberty. They are potentially bringing parasites to my dog, not to mention ruining my lawn by urinating and deficating all over it. One of the neighbors has a large unaltered male that marks my trees, house, deck, etc.

The fence will also give me the security to let Luna off leash, to run and play to her heart's content. It will also help to keep out predators (I live in the country). So... it's a win/win situation the way I look at it. An e-fence offers very little security (dogs often learn they can run right through the shock and be on the other side of the "fence") so in a way your neighbor's dog has done you a favor in convincing you to put up a real fence.

In my situation, I've chosen not to talk to my neighbors about their dogs. I know what sort of people they are, so I know there are two possible outcomes: (1) They get mad and try to make life unpleasant for me or (2) their poor dogs now have to spend 24/7 chained up. I'd much rather grin and bear it until the fence goes up.
 

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I would put up a fence asap, you won't be disappointed. I love love love my fence and I have no idea how I lived without it. I would also talk to the neighbor face to face about the problem, tell them the dog is jumping on and nipping your kids and pooping in your yard, but I would hold off on calling animal control for now.
 

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I'm almost positive Maine has a leash law. Where in Maine are ya? I'm way up North.

I'm not the OP but where in Maine are you? My husband is from West Peru, outside Rumford, bout 45min from Auburn. When I first met him, I had only been in NH for 3yrs...I knew he had been in the Navy, he told me he had been to China, Paris, Norway, Mexico...I thought, Yeah, a traveling man.
Little did I know those are towns in Maine LOL
To keep on topic, I just got done reading an article on fencing and the dangers of electric fencing. Very interesting
 

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Put up a fence. The neighbor knows you don't like their dog in your yard already, so, talking to her and/or writing a letter more likely than not won't accomplish anything but hard feelings. People tend to get wierd when you're honest and direct about things like this!

I love, love, love my fence, and am glad I chose the board-on-board, so that you can't see in or out. I have a (wierd) neighbor whose fence is a shadow box type of wood fence, running between our property lines, and who have harrassed, sworn at, and shouted at my dogs while jumping at them (God forbid we make any noise while playing frisbee, because the guy likes to sit outside with his book and his cocktail in silence, ALL DAY LONG. As a result, my two adult Standard Poodles now bark back at them, so have had to bring out the treats and call them to me. They don't bark at their daughter, just her parents. Went to Home Depot and got a roll of bamboo fencing to place against that shadow box fence, thus blocking my dogs' view. They can still hear them, but can't see them. And they don't bark. Thank Dog that problem's solved!
 

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There's an old saying that says something to the affect that "Good fences make good neighbors." I think it's very true.

I would call animal control but approach it as if you're concerned with the dog's safety and ask them to talk to the neighbors without mentioning your name. Genereally what happens is that they send an officer out to educate the owner about the dangers to his/her dog. Put that way it sounds as if you are a caring neighbor rather than merely a complaining one. Although you absolutely do have a legitimate complaint.
 
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