Dogs are a common pet all over the US and the world at large. Dogs are great pets that can be beneficial in so many ways to their owners. Some dogs can even be beneficial to surrounding properties. However, dogs can also be grounds for disputes between or amongst neighbors. There are so many things dogs can do that can be annoying. At the very least your neighbor’s dog can become a nuisance. In extremes cases their dog can pose threats of harm to human life. Can you call animal control on your neighbor’s dog? Let us find out.
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Short Answer Is Yes (But Only For Valid Reasons)
As much your neighbor’s dog is theirs, it does not mean you cannot intervene at times. There are several valid bases that can make it legal for you to call animal control on your neighbor’s dog. You need to know those bases so that you know you are within what it legally acceptable. You also must acquaint yourself with laws or ordinances that apply to your locality. By being adequately knowledgeable you will also know which authorities to contact when need be. The bottom line is yes, you can call animal control on your neighbor’s dog. You just have to ensure you do it based on valid lawful reasons.
Be Cognizant Applicable Laws Or Ordinances May Vary
Laws that apply to dog possession are broad and diverse. Typically there are state laws and ordinances that apply to localities. You should also know that applicable laws can be on a federal level as well. It helps to be abreast with all such laws or ordinances. Be particularly abreast with what applies to your exact location. You can always check with your local authorities, legal experts, the police, or any local animal control entities.
Lawful Reasons For Calling Animal Control On Your Neighbor’s Dog
Again, what constitutes lawful reasons here will depend on your location. For example, a neighbor might own a dog breed that is not allowed in your locality. In some cases your neighbor might be keeping more than the permissible number of dogs per household. The neighbor may be violating leash mandates when dog is outside their property. The issue can pertain to the dog messing up all over and the neighbor not cleaning it.
At times it can be neglect, abuse, cruelty or wilful abandonment of the dog. The neighbor may not be keeping the dog up to date with vaccinations. Sometimes the dog may be exhibiting aggressive behaviour. This sort of behaviour can be endangering the lives of other animals and humans as well. These are all examples of valid reasons that can necessitate you calling animal control on your neighbor’s dog.
Talk With The Neighbor First
It might not be best to start off with calling animal control on your neighbor’s dog. If there are causes for concern regarding your neighbor’s dog, alert the neighbor first. They might genuinely not be aware of the issues at play. Some reasonable neighbors can heed the call and take corrective measures. Only when things spiral out of control should you call animal control on your neighbor’s dog.
Important Things To Consider When Calling Animal Control On Your Neighbor’s Dog
Before you make the call, it is prudent to have evidence of the concerns you are reporting. This will cement your report and help the animal control authorities to act faster. Let us suppose that your neighbor’s dog always attacks your chickens on your property. Maybe it could be that the neighbor’s dog attacks people who walk by. Possibly it could be that the neighbor is neglecting or ill-treating the dog.
These are just a few of the many examples which can be difficult to prove without hard evidence. If you notice issues of concerns early on, remember we suggested alerting the neighbor first. From then on, as you wait to see their response, start documenting evidence. If you can capture photos and or videos, that would be great. If you can include dates, times, where it happened, and explainer notes, the better. This will leave no room for the neighbor to refute the claims once animal control shows up.
Who Exactly Should You Call?
The most ideal authority to call is animal control; the one that applies to your locality. Good that as that may be there can be circumstances that can render that ineffective. For instance, the animal control authorities may not be close by or immediately available. Your other option can be to call the police but there is a caveat though.
Police will normally respond to you calling about your neighbor’s dog if the circumstances are exigent. Otherwise they are not usually under obligation to respond to such calls. What if you call animal control and they are not forthcoming? Well, from then on you would have to explore your legal options. The best would be to engage an attorney and get the necessary guidance.
Never Take Matters Into Your Hands
There have been times when people take matters into their own hands. For instance, you see that your neighbor is abusing or neglecting their dog. You could possibly consider taking the dog into your care. Morally that seems good and all but legally you can get into trouble. You cannot just do that without the consent of the neighbor. Maybe you noticed your neighbor’s dog tied (never getting fed) to a pole all the time on their property. Walking onto their property without consent, untying, and feeding it would be trespassing.
That is why it is always safer to call animal control on your neighbor’s dog if need be. That is of course after first alerting the neighbor of the issue(s) of concern. Only call animal control when there is a clear indication the issues are not being addressed. Never forget to make efforts to gather solid evidence to substantiate the report or call you make.