Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX X'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.
If there are leash laws and ordinances, you certainly have to comply with those. Also, as the owner of the pets, you are required to keep them from roaming and getting off of your property. If the dogs do traverse the neighbors property, they have a right to have the dogs removed by animal control, etc. or even claim that they're a private nuisance.
Thus, you really need to try and give the court some proof that you're keeping the dogs on your property - - maybe offer to put up a fence or an underground/wireless - - then that's probably the best course.
Unfortunately, you probably can't justify or be excused for letting the dogs run/roam free - - especially if there are leash laws in your area.
yes I am aware of the leash laws, has there ever been a case of breach of control I mean these peoe have be friended our dogs on our property as well as fed them on their property and leashed them... because to me it is a sort of breach of control.
Your best claim on that is that your dogs were given permission - - at least implied permission - - to traverse your neighbors property because they welcomed them, played with them, fed them, leashed them, etc. You can also claim that you were never told that they had changed their minds and that they just began calling animal control, etc. without any indication that they no longer wanted the dogs there.
I'll look at some case law to see if I can find one that deals with failing to control one's pet/dog. Bear with me.
The case of Drake v. Dean, 15 Cal. App. 4th 915 says that the owner has a strict obligation to control his/her pet:
"California follows the common law rule of strict liability for harm done by a domestic animal with known vicious or dangerous propensities abnormal to its class. A possessor of a domestic animal that he knows or has reason to know as dangerous propensities abnormal to its class, is subject to liability for harm done by the animal to another, although he exercises the utmost care to prevent it from doing the harm. This liability is limited to harm that results from the abnormally dangerous propensity of which the possessor knows or has reason to know."
"A negligence cause of action arises when there is ineffective control of an animal in a situation where it is reasonably expected that injury could occur, and injury does proximately result from the negligence. The amount of control required is that which would be exercised by a reasonable person based upon the total situation at the time, including the past behavior of the animal and the injuries that could be reasonably foreseen."
my dogs are not violent nor vicious... they do however kill squirrals n rabbits which in doing research is 100% normal for any dog its their instinct.. i know you are just trying to help, i have read through that case law unfortunatley the only case law that i could find concerns vicious dogs and that is absolutley not the case with mine, like i said at one point the wrote us a letter stating that one of my dogs protected them from another dog that supposedly was going to attack them.
I know this case deals with a dog injuring a person, but the rule of law is that an owner MUST control his/her dog because ALL dogs have the potential to be vicious if threatened, injured, etc. So, even though your German Shepard's aren't violent - - they have the potential to be and that's where the obligation comes in for the owner to control the pet at all times.
It does sound like your neighbors are just retaliating against you for discontinuing their use of your road AND you can tell that to the court. But, at the end of the day, the judge is likely going to require you to ensure that your dogs are kept on your property since the neighbors no longer want them on their land.
well thank you very much Mr.Adams and im sure you can tell that that isdefinately the response i was hoping for i do appreciate your though thank you..
No problem! I'm glad to help and I certainly wish you luck with this. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.
I think the retaliation claim could go a long way for you in getting this resolved since the dogs were welcomed by them for a certain period of time.
Thanks for allowing me to help you.
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