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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20227
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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our across the street have 2-3 dogs. They have come on our

Customer Question

our across the street have 2-3 dogs. They have come on our property several times over the past 8-9 months. they are getting more brave. Yesterday our dog was out in the front with us and 2 of their dogs ran in our property to our dog and of course they were barking and trying to pick a fight with our dog. I kept trying to shoo them away and keep our dog from fighting them. They have also ran after our grandsons in our yard before and my son had to chase them off. what legal rights do we have to protect our selves and property and our dog.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the information and your question. Have you called animal control or the police about the dogs not being on a leash and trespassing on your property? If not, why not? Have you spoken to your neighbors and what do they say?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We are not for sure they speak English. No we haven't called before today. I don't have a reason we haven't called. My husband has dealt with them a lot more than I have. They neighbors sometimes leave their house and don't close their gate at all. My husband has told them if they keep coming in our yard he will kill them. (dogs). They tell him something but he doesn't hear what they say. Last night the neighbors couldn't call them back and I was in the middle trying to keep our dog from fighting them. Our dog scratched me; but it would have never happened if their dogs were not over by our drive way starting a fights

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello again and thank you for the additional information. As much as possible, this should be left to the local authorities so that this does not break down further into unnecessary violence, not only against the animals who have no "fault" in this situation, but also potentially the humans. There are specific laws, such as leash laws and trespassing laws, that can be used here to assist in this situation.

So, although you can ultimately use reasonable self-defense on your own property to protect yourself or your property, this could likely be completely resolved by calling the animal control officer when you see them out and keeping your dog inside just until the animal control officer takes the dogs or confronts the neighbor about keeping them behind a fence, inside or on a leash and off of your property. You can also call the police and they can educate your neighbors. The neighbors will likely get a ticket, or at least an initial warning. Once that has happened, if there were to be any damage to you or your pet, then not only could they face criminal charges, but you could also file suit in civil court for damages.

But, I would again caution you about killing or injuring someone else's animals. As I said, if it is absolutely necessary for self-defense (and defense of your animal) then that is legal, but you have to live with these neighbors and all too often, these situations go downhill very fast if cooler minds don't prevail. That is why I recommend getting law enforcement involved next time you see the dogs out and removing yourself from the situation if possible.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the legal answer I provided to you on the 13th. The Site has been a little buggy lately so the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how the Experts receive credit for their work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.