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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need y'alls advice as to how you would handle this.

I had a "pet incident" last night with my neighbor's dog and one of my cats (I think they are Jack Russell's). I have a neighbor that is renting the house next door. They are generally nice people but kinda strange as they won't look or talk to you. They have been there a year and we don't really speak and they don't ever wave or say hi. They do put their dogs in their backyard usually each evening unattended. There is a wooden fence separating our yards that is in disrepair in a few spots. When they moved in I guess they got the person who owns that home to install a few new sections to the worst parts of the fence, but the dogs are now coming through small holes I guess. I've tried to patch a few up but they find new ones.

Over the past few weeks, their dogs have found a way(s) through the fence and have come into my backyard 4-5 times...which in itself is not a huge deal...that is until last night when I let my 2 cats out. I heard my cats hissing and was by the backdoor so I open the door and could see one of their dogs had my cats cornered up against my house. When I opened the door, one of the cats took off around the house and the dog gave chase. I think the cat pretty much ran around the house and then came into the backdoor after 1 lap...I don't know what happened when they were on the chase.

Well the cat comes inside and has either a very small bite wound or small puncture wound on her cheek. 3 of her feet were slightly bleeding. It looks like abcess wounds on several toes where the skin ripped back around the claw. I'm about to take her in right now to the vet as she's in pain from her wounds and if I don't they'll get infected. I'm sure this will be a $100-300 vet bill.

Long story (I'm sorry), but I was pretty pissed last night and couldn't sleep. I was thinking about how I'd approach the neighbor but wanted to come here and ask y'all how you'd handle this situation.

Thank you!

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well as I was typing this I noticed that one of the dogs was in my backyard again, so I went next door and had a chat.

Kinda unsatisfactory....I am a non confrontational type so I probably didn't come out as forceful as I would have liked. The neighbor did apologize, blame it on the fence and said his landlord was coming out wednesday to replace some of the fence. He did say to let him know the result of the vet visit (not that he would pay for it which I don't necessarily expect him to). What did sorta anger me is his comment that "cats and dogs will be cats and dogs". I shoulda piped up there and let him know that isn't hte case if it's his dogs in my yard injuring my pets.

Still sorta steaming but glad I chatted with them. Now off to the vet.
 

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I would bring her vet bill and she should pay . I would call animal control too,so they can have a little chat with them.
 

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Tough one to handle. I'm not particularly good at confrontations. My first question would be, who owns the fence (the owner of the other house?) What interactions have you had in the past when the dogs come over? Meaning, do they know their dogs get through? It's hard to say you can really pressure them too much, if up until this point it's not been an "issue".

The only thing you can do I think is ask that they chip in?
 

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I'm sorry about your problem. I don't know what the law would say.
I just wanted to express my sympathy.
If they keep coming through, you could put up an electric fence along the bottom to zap them. That would solve the problem pretty quickly and wouldn't be too expensive.
 

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I totally get not liking confrontation. But you do need to take him the vet bill and tell him you expect him to reimburse you for it since his dog came into your property and injured your cat. Landlord's fence or not, he's responsible for containing his dogs.

Maybe you need to have a serious conversation with the landlord, tell HIM he owes you for the vet bill too, he's liable for your damages too since he owns the house and is not maintaining the fence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great suggestions. I don't know who technically owns the fits and don't know which property it lies upon.

I will send their landlord a letter today. I don't think I'll ask anyone to pay for the bill. I think I'll go back over to the neighbors after I get the cat back once I know it's injuries and the cost of the bill. I'll put everyone "on notice" that this will be the last time this will happen.

I may place a call to Animal Control and have a chat with them but I won't provide my name or specifics. I don't know what the rules are and they may pin blame on me since my cats were "off leash" too.

Oh they know their dogs have been in my backyard as they come into my yard to retrieve them. I need to take some pictures.
 

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I would have a discussion and tell them that you cat was injured because of thier dogs and ask them how much they want to pay? If they dont offer to pay contact the landlord and ask them to pay. They are responsible to keep the dogs on their property and even if they rent they are responsible to make sure the fence is not damaged if they are going to have pets. Your cat was outside in your yard so they are 100% responsible.
You can also play it to them: You need to make sure that your fence is fixed in all places because you would hate for their dog to get out and get hurt or killed by another dog or car. Make them feel guilty. They know it is happening and not doing anything so they are at fault if they dont do anything.
Hope your kitty is going to be ok.
 

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I don't know the laws where you live in regards to property but here a fence that is dividing to backyards is the responsibility of BOTH the parties (both property owners). That being said their dog still came onto your property and I believe the neighbor and landlord are responsible. You can also go to the local hardware/livestock feed store and buy a roll of chicken wire and staple it along the bottom of the fence - that should prevent any new ventures into your yard.
 

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Chester & Murphy's Mom
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Hi...I just wanted to add in, my first thought was are these dogs up to date on rabies shots? If not I would then contact animal control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would have a discussion and tell them that you cat was injured because of thier dogs and ask them how much they want to pay? If they dont offer to pay contact the landlord and ask them to pay. They are responsible to keep the dogs on their property and even if they rent they are responsible to make sure the fence is not damaged if they are going to have pets. Your cat was outside in your yard so they are 100% responsible.
You can also play it to them: You need to make sure that your fence is fixed in all places because you would hate for their dog to get out and get hurt or killed by another dog or car. Make them feel guilty. They know it is happening and not doing anything so they are at fault if they dont do anything.
Hope your kitty is going to be ok.
I agree...I think I'll do just that. Once I get the cat back from the vet today, talk to the vet to understand the injuries and get the bill, I'm going to write a letter to the neighbor and their landlord to put it in writing. I'll explain what happened and what the injuries and costs are and to ask how they are going to repair the fence and address the situation.

I got onto the local Animal Control website and I could report this incident and their dogs as a "Dangerous Dog":

A dangerous dog in Fort Worth is defined as one that:

  1. Makes an unprovoked attack on a person or other animal that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept, or;
  2. Commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure which the dog was being kept and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the animal will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.
If you own a dangerous dog The owner of a dangerous dog is required to register annually the dog with Animal Care and Control and pay an annual registration fee of $50.
The owner of a dangerous dog is required to notify Animal Care and Control within 14 days if the dog is sold or moved to a new address.
Animal Care and Control will conduct quarterly inspections to ensure the dangerous dog is properly registered and still kept at the registered address.
______________________
The animal control law for cats is they must be on my property, which they were. But as I stated, I hate conflict. My cats love to go in the backyard and eat grass, roll in the dirt and chase bugs. I don't want to keep them pent up in the house but may have to...or maybe go outside with them. I'd hate for this to escalate and them do something like throw poison bait or something in my yard.
 

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shadow friend
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Is the fence on your property line? If so, then I'm thinking that may be legally partially responsible for the fence. My neighbor chose to put up a nice pvc fence on our line - he could afford to do that. But if there were holes and it needed to be replaced, I would figure, I'd have to come up with half of the money. I guess you couldn't afford to put a better one up or maybe come to an agreement with the landlord to go halvsies on a new sound fence? I hope that the landlord or the people who own the dog have to pay for your vet bill.

Also, it's great that you aren't really social with them and don't consider them friends. It's not like you have to be careful how you react so that you protect that relationship. You have the freedom and the right to be as assertive as you need to be to get something done - so just remember, don't worry about playing nice - it's not like you care what your neighbors think of you.

I hope your kitty will be okay.
 

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Debbie
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Personally, I would not let my cats out at all. And especially not with these dogs on the loose. They are obviously not under control and a danger to the cats.
 

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shadow friend
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\ But as I stated, I hate conflict. My cats love to go in the backyard and eat grass, roll in the dirt and chase bugs. I don't want to keep them pent up in the house but may have to...or maybe go outside with them. I'd hate for this to escalate and them do something like throw poison bait or something in my yard.

Well, frankly, that's not smart of you. This is a situation where you need to protect your family so "man up" and just do it. Again, it's not like you care what they think of you. Do what's best for you and the safety of your cats - call and report it - give a copy of the vets paperwork to AC, your neighbor and his landlord. It makes no sense for you to say you'll just crawl in a corner and hide when it's not like you have anything at stake anyways.
 

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That is an awful situation. I would have been right over there demanding them to at least pay half of the vet bill for my cat, if not all of it. If they refuse to pay, then it's time to call animal control and possibly even try to get in touch with the landlord. The landlord pays homeowner's insurance on the property and he/she will ultimately be responsible for any incidents with the tenant's dogs if the tenants don't pay up and agree to make sure that their dogs don't come into your yard anymore. I would also keep your cats indoors for now. Our 4 cats live very happily as indoor cats. I am wondering if the landlord is even aware that the tenants have dogs living at their property. I hope it gets better soon!
 

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Are your cats outside routinely? While I am NOT defending the neighbor, who should have control of his dogs, it would be very unusual for cats to have dog bites that are abcessed. My guess would be that they are actually cat bites - which quite regularly abcess. Unless you actually saw the neighbor's dogs biting your cats (and truthfully, if a JRT had a cat, it likely would be shaken to death) I don't know how you can hold themresponsible for any vet bill incurred.
 

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The vet also may be able to give you insight as to what animal may have bitten your cat; and I would still speak to the neighbor about having the fence repaired and getting control of the dog.

One of my neighbor's got a cute scottie pup, which found a way to crawl under our adjoining fence and come in my backyard. Even though my golden is friendly, and the two dogs would have a great time playing together when these unannounced visits would happen, I still got on my neighbor's case.

Her pup had a collar on--was it going to get snagged on the edge of the fence one day--and choke? What if her dog was in my backyard and my yardmen came that morning to cut the grass? They know to look for a big golden--but not a small dark dog that blends in with patches of dirt and grass--and what if they let her loose by mistake? What if she escaped to another neighbor's yard crawling under my fence and was now in theirs? I hated to sound so neuro, but I don't have a visitor any more.
 

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Get the cat to the vet. Once there is a better idea as to how he was injured, then you can proceed. To go charging over there and making demands, when you are not sure and did not actually see what happened, can certainly cause more problems than it's worth. If it is determined that the dogs bit your cat (which I seriously doubt - is the cat neutered, BTW?) then you can go over, and civilly discuss the situation. If not, you can still go over, maybe take a pie or something, and talk about how you can help make it work - repairing/shoring up the fence, etc. Having and being good neighbors can take you a lot further than being on the muscle and starting a fight that doesn't need to be.
 

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I agree...I think I'll do just that. Once I get the cat back from the vet today, talk to the vet to understand the injuries and get the bill, I'm going to write a letter to the neighbor and their landlord to put it in writing. I'll explain what happened and what the injuries and costs are and to ask how they are going to repair the fence and address the situation.

I got onto the local Animal Control website and I could report this incident and their dogs as a "Dangerous Dog":

A dangerous dog in Fort Worth is defined as one that:

  1. Makes an unprovoked attack on a person or other animal that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept, or;
  2. Commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure which the dog was being kept and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the animal will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.
If you own a dangerous dog The owner of a dangerous dog is required to register annually the dog with Animal Care and Control and pay an annual registration fee of $50.
The owner of a dangerous dog is required to notify Animal Care and Control within 14 days if the dog is sold or moved to a new address.
Animal Care and Control will conduct quarterly inspections to ensure the dangerous dog is properly registered and still kept at the registered address.
______________________
The animal control law for cats is they must be on my property, which they were. But as I stated, I hate conflict. My cats love to go in the backyard and eat grass, roll in the dirt and chase bugs. I don't want to keep them pent up in the house but may have to...or maybe go outside with them. I'd hate for this to escalate and them do something like throw poison bait or something in my yard.

I would be very careful before reporting these dogs are dangerous. It might eventually cost the dogs their lives.
 

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chew chew chew
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I would mainly address the fence, if their dogs can get in, your cats can get out. So maybe send a letter to the landlord saying that you are willing to chip in to get the fence repaired or replaced and that you will go ahead and get some quotes and then go from there. Get everything in writing though so it's very clear (and if just repairing the fence is the way you guys go, then fine too).

Just get everything in writing though, so it's all clear (including approximate amounts that each side will pay for). We had neighbors who wanted to split the cost of replacing the fence on the one side, we agreed, but then they only did half of the fence (didn't put a fence up between the parking areas) AND tried to say they paid their friends wages to do so and wanted us to split that bill. I don't think so! For less than half of what they charged us, we had someone come who finished the rest of the fence on that side and replaced the back fence too (and we sent them that bill for their records in case there was a problem with the fencing).

Lana
 
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