July 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm #14842
Hi there! Over a year ago, my dog (half pitbull – half boxer), got free from our property and chased these two ladies and their dogs around the corner. My daughter witnessesed the whole thing and said our dog was wagging her tail and trying to approach and play. The women freaked out and got hysterical. Their dog bit my dog – the dogs engaged – a neighbor man pulled the dogs apart before I could get there. Even though my dog did not bite or even scratch those people or their pets – they were so scared – there was a hearing with the county animal control. They declared my dog vicous – ordered us to put up a side fence and keep her in the back yard only – my kids can’t walk their dog until they are 18. So – I took the dog to training school – and she graduated & walks like a show dog in the healed position now. I had a dog expert come into my home – who wrote up an opinion of my dog, my property, my fences and each family member as owners. The dog expert assessed that in no way is this dog vicious. Now the problem – for over a year now – my neighbor or his son hang out in their front yard and warn anyone who walks by – to stay away from our yard because we have a “Bad Dog.” They wont do it in front of us. But – on numerous occassions – I have been working in the sideyard – and heard them myself! Two years ago, we started adding on to our house and we know those neighbors are extremely jealous-petty people. This is a good dog that is very loved – my husband walks her over a mile every morning – I walk her around the block almost every day. I am very frusterated with this neighbor! It makes me soooooo angry that he has placed so much fear in the little kids in the neighborhood. I feel so voilated. What should I do?July 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm #17445rebeccajoshuaosheaParticipant
I am sorry to hear about this situation, but it sounds like you are not backing off of getting your pet out and about in the community, especially if only you and your husband can walk them at this point. That is the first step, to getting the dog out more for people to actually SEE that the dog is not “vicious,” as more often than not people think of pits. If you are able to help at least one person see how kind and loving your dog is, that is one more person on the “pits” side. 🙂 If you find it within yourself, I’d approach these neighbors and others who speak like this against your pet–I don’t know that I’d bring my pit along at the first meeting. But I know when I first just TOLD people that we were adopting a pit, esp. some at school (my co-workers) were like WHAT? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? I said, “Okay, first thing, not adopting BECAUSE he’s a pit, but because he was the MOST BEHAVED out of all the dogs we walked at the shelter.” And there will be some people whose minds you will NEVER change, which is unfortunate. They will never know the love a pit can give. That is their loss, not yours.July 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm #17446
Thanks for your advice! It’s sad that a few years ago – those same folks had a dog that was an escape artist – and constantly running the streets – for atleast five years! I can’t count the times we placed their dog in their own yard – and even had it over here bunches of times – to play with it. We helped them so many times with that dog. Now, it is sick that they are enstilling fear in little neighborhood kids – over our dog that is nothing but very loveable! Unfortunately, these folks are not at all approachable – so speaking to them is not an option. They are just the uneducated low lifes of the neighborhood – and hopefully, other neighbors will realize their ignorance!!!July 18, 2011 at 6:07 am #17454kendseycollinsParticipant
Here’s the problem, as I see it: some damage has already been done and that will be difficult to reverse, but as long as you don’t have a problem abiding by the restrictions you’ve been put under, you SHOULD NOT have to put up with harrasment and slander of your family and pet. To start, you should approach your neighbor (without the dog,) and politely ask them to stop their slander. Explain to them that your dog is not viscious, but that you are doing everything you can to make everybody in the neighborhood comfortable. In a very politically correct way tell them that the things they are saying are not necessary or appreciated and they need to stop. Document this. I don’t doubt they will continue, so document every time you hear them or that somebody else tells you what they have been saying. Write down the date, time and what occured. After a while, call the police and tell them that you are being harrassed. Provide the police with the careful documentation and they should be able to talk to your neighbors. The first time may not stop it, so continue documenting EVERY incident, then call the police again. If you kept calling the police without documentation, your neighbors could file a harrassment suit against you, but if you have recorded every incident possible very carefully, plus have documentation that you attempted to resolve the problem amicably, you will have what you need to pressure them. Don’t let it continue. If the wrong person hears that you are keeping a “nasty dog,” it could lead to somebody teasing, sabotaging, perhaps even poisoning your him!!!!July 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm #17458
Thank you for your very informative reply. You have really helped me, and now I feel empowered in having a plan to deal with this situation! I had not thought of documentation. My husband thinks it may only cause more problems – because these folks have a 40ish year-old son who lives at home (doesn’t work & not because of the bad economy – he is just a spoiled looser) and has nothing better to do than cause problems & spends a lot of time in front of his house trying to chat greetings (and the dog warning) with others – a lot of people take walks in our neighborhood. I told my husband I will still document incidents, and he and I can make our decision to call the cops or not – after a few more incidents. I’ve started my documentation with last Saturday’s incident. I haven’t much time to spend out front (work & running kids around), so it may take awhile for me to catch the next incident. Maybe the police going to their home and notifying them of the complaint – will be embarassing enough for them to stop. Unfortunately, a slander lawsuit would be stressful, time consuming & expensive ~ and the dog did get in trouble with the county ~ so I don’t know if him calling her a bad dog is slander for sure? I feel so much better, now that I have read your post. What a relief! Thank you ~ thank you :o)July 19, 2011 at 7:42 pm #17460kendseycollinsParticipant
You’re welcome!! I’m glad I could help. I just wanted to let you know that you do have options because this type of gossip, while petty and irritating could eventually cause serious problems. If these neighbors get aggressive enough with it they could even petition the neighborhood to have your dog put down!!! Like I said, there is also the possibility that somebody who really doesn’t like pits could get wind of the chatter and try, for instance, opening the gate to let your dog out when you aren’t home (we both know where that would lead,) or putting poison down or any number of other nasty things, not short of sending nasty letters etc to your home. I’m not recomending that you sue these people, that is a little extreme, just that you protect your family and your pet because there are crazy’s out there!
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