We are in the process of rebuilding our fence. We have been without a fence for six days now. This morning at about 6:15 I was taking my dogs outside for a morning pee. I was in the process of putting my shoes on and had opened the door to let the two younger dogs outside but hadn’t put them on their lines yet. I heard “Jack (I think), stay out of that yard” which was quickly followed by “FUCK OFF” a loud thump, one of my dogs crying, and both dogs running back to me. So obviously the dogs ran up to his dog and he kicked at them. There was no sound of fighting, but his dog is a small dog and I thought I recognized him as the gentleman from the dog park who is very nervous about other dogs around his dog.
He stormed into the yard and said my dogs attacked his dog. I said no they didn’t. He said I didn’t have a fence. I thought ‘thanks Cpn. Obvious’, but just said I know. He swore at me, I swore back, put the dogs in the house and closed the door.
Our across the alley neighbor just came over and told me Animal Control was in our yard this morning. All dogs were inside at the time (we were at work).
I have no note or phone call from Animal Control. What should I expect and should I call them first?
I assume the old man complained you had dogs running loose? Based on my experiences as a volunteer with a local Humane Society, I’d say Animal Control probably stopped by to see if your dogs were running amok. They may or may not return, depending on whether they took the complaint/complainer seriously. (If he calls in frequently, they may just do token checks to humor him.) If they do return and find you home, they will probably ask you about your fencing plans and want to see your dogs’ rabies certificates. If they see that you are actually fixing the fence, and if the dogs’ shots are reasonably up-to-date, that will probably be the end of it. As for giving them a call, it might not be a bad idea. You can give your version of events and show that you’re a good guy. It never hurts to be on the good side of the local animal control–you never know when you’re going to need them in a hurry.
You’ll most likely get a letter in the mail. And they will have checked to see if your dogs are licensed. They will strongly urge you to get them licensed RIGHT now, because the fine is doubled if they have to cite you. I might call them, for the reasons stated above.
I know you recognize this was the wrong order to do this, but at the risk of beating a dead horse, I’m going to note for the benefit of the general readership that many of the tragic stories I read start with “I opened the door to let the dog(s) out without the leash being firmly in place and…” followed by tales of terror, death, misery, and legal complications.
A poster on this board had a long thread about letting the dog out unleashed and eventually losing him entirely.
My own father-in-law, a few months ago, was taking care of a cherished pet Dachshund for one of his daughters and opened the door, leash in hand but not on the dog, and the dog ran off and was killed by a car.
One of our neighbors often barges out the door with her dog unleashed, and the dog immediately rushes at other people and dogs, and has almost started several dog fights. The woman always seems surprised and flustered like she didn’t expect the dog to do that again.
You have to have the leash on before you open the door. Always.
The only exception I can think of is if you’re two humans in a dominant/submissive relationship, and even then, you probably want the door closed.
Of course my dogs are licensed and fully vaccinated. The city is pretty strict with this, and we do like to think we are responsible dog owners for the most part.
I agree that I should never let them out without a leash attached first. I can make excuses about why this isn’t needed in this particular area, but I guess we saw first hand yesterday morning why it is indeed needed.
Why are you so sure your dogs didn’t attack his? You said you were inside.
I’m not trying to be snarky, but I hate when unleashed dogs rush mine (who is always on leash, except when he’s in our fenced yard) and would consider that a form of intimidation atttack. Especially two dogs at once. I’d probably call animal control too, in that situation.
I was at the back door holding the screen door open (my one dog was still inside waiting for me), trying to pull on my flip flops. I was about 15 feet away around the corner. I won’t say I’m 100% sure, but I’m pretty sure I would have heard the fight.
We still haven’t heard anything from either the mysterious neighbor or animal control, and are being extra vigilant about our dogs being on leash or on a rope.