How should I write a letter to my neighbor about controlling their dog who runs loose around the neighborhood?

My neighbor owns this big male dog that runs around loose in our nieghborhood. Many people have made complaints about her and her animal and she still has done nothing. The dog runs up to my yard, takes a dump, irritates my two dogs by walking up to the window, and then has the nerve to growl and bark and lunge viciously at my window trying to attack my dogs. Well, the people have a closed in yard, but they open the gate to let the dog run loose and no matter how many times we complain, she still wont do anything about it. The dog is ok around her kids when they play in the yard, but whenever a jogger or anybody walks by, he runs up and growls and barks, and now I cant even walk my own dogs for fear that he will run up and attack them. Everyone on our cul-de-sac has called animal control and several shelters, but none of them will actually come out to get the dog, they want us to bring him in. The dog is dangerous to people excercising and walking their own pets and we can’t really do much about it. My family has gotten to the point where if he runs in or around our yard we shoot him with a bb gun and my dad is to the point that he’s gonna shoot the dog with a bigger gun if the kids arent around.

the dog is a complete nuisance, he endangers drivers by laying in the road, he endangers pets that are on their own property, and he endangers pedestrians, and nobody will come out and fix the problem legally.

im writing a letter to the lady and i need to know how to start it.
and what else should i do to keep the dog away and stay out of legal issues?
We called the houston aspca, they said that they will only take the dog if we bring him in, but being that he has an owner, we can’t exactly take him. They told us they were located too far away and to try and call another shelter. So we called animal control and they said they would only take him if we brought him to them.

I live in a suburban area and the crime rate is low so the cops and animal control really don’t help out with anything beyond criminal people.

This is not the first animal they have owned that has run loose. They used to have a cat, that got pregnant twice, had a bajillion babies that ran around and killed birds and left them in yards, and they’d tear up trashbags and pull the trash out. I had a puppy for 6 days and it ate cat poop and got a stomache infection and died because the people didnt get shots for the cats. talk about an irresponsible owner right?

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    7 Responses to “How should I write a letter to my neighbor about controlling their dog who runs loose around the neighborhood?”

    1. I Dont Bark... I YODEL says:

      I had the same problem in my old neighborhood. Small town (900 people) and the owner didn’t seem to care whether people complained about the dog….so an anonymous phone call to the police worked just fine.

      If your neighbor doesn’t care about people complaining to her about the dog, she isn’t likely to care about the letter. I would document the dog’s behavior on video, get video of the lady actually letting her dog out of the gate if you can, and take it to your local police. Let them handle it- and if they won’t, send the video to every news agency in town with a letter of complaint about lack of public service. Animal control and police are paid by taxpayers and if they refuse to respond to legitimate complaints, the news may just find it worth reporting on.

      Aaaand, well, personally I like to handle things myself even if it may not always be the "straight and narrow" thing to do. Somebody gave me the idea to use a paintball gun instead of a BB gun. I was using a BB gun on the neighbors’ nuisance stray to keep it out of my yard. Then after I moved, somebody mentioned using a paintball gun- it was too late for me to use the idea though! Gives the owner a "message" when the dog comes home that folks are upset with the animal’s presence…and paintballs typically hurt less than some BB’s so you aren’t hurting the dog terribly. I’ll probably get the thumbs-down from folks over this, but oh well. Check your local laws & use your own discretion- but where I lived, nobody would have said a word- in fact, neighbors would have cheered me on!

      Oh- and for walking your own dogs in peace- go to a farm supply store and buy an electric cattle prod. They make them that are 2-3 feet long, so if the dog gets close enough to pose a physical threat, you can zap the heck out of him. I’m of the opinion that you should be able to walk down the street without being terrorized by menacing animals- and if the law won’t respond, handle it in a reasonable manner, yourself. Like I said, make sure you aren’t breaking any laws in your area first. Good luck.

    2. Rat Mom says:

      Introduce your subject and declare your goal in the opening paragraph. You’re addressing her lack of responsibility for her dog’s behavior. You hope that she agrees with your well thought out points and begins to control her dog so that there won’t be any neighborly conflict.

      The body can have as many paragraphs as you like. To get the ball rolling, you can start with him being able to run loose and his impact on the community. He endangers drivers by laying in the road, is aggressive with animals and humans, and he’s doing his business wherever he pleases. Next you can point out that he’s also endangering himself and could be run over, poisoned, attacked, or stolen. Make sure she knows that this is a form of neglect. Finally, outline the consequences for her and her dog. Dig up your local leash/ownership laws and let her know that if her dog attacks someone they will take her to court and she won’t win. Her dog could potentially be taken away or euthanised.

      It’s important to date it with your signature and have a photocopy filed away for the future. Start taking videos and pictures of her dog in action in the meantime, someone should have evidence. If you go outside, have a strong walking stick with you. If I take my dog out on trails I have one because you never know what’s out there. Have you called the police? They might have a bigger influence on AC.

    3. Bobbie L says:

      Writing a letter is the chicken sh!t way out. Most likely your city/county has a leash law. Call your local humane society and report the dog. Your parents need to take care of this, not you as a minor. Your Dad cannot shoot the dog, it’s illegal, and he’ll end up in court.

    4. huskylover001 says:

      Definitely contact the dog office immediately! My cousin had the same issue in her neighborhood. Every time she walked by this house, these two ankle biters would bark and growl at her. Well, last week it bit her in the thigh (and another lady also). Lucky it wasn’t a little child. I’m sure you could stay anonymous.

    5. Bonzie12 says:

      You need to contact your dog law officer and the police if the dog is a safety hazard. Doesn’t your state have a leash law? If so, then the dog should be picked up because of his being off leash and this is against the law.

    6. myxavier222 says:

      NO letter! Contact the Humane Society, ASPCA, I guarantee after they give them a citation…they won’t let the dog out. Just don’t give your name.

    7. Animal Artwork & The Brat says:

      I wouldn’t bother writing a letter. I’d simply make a phone call to the police next time the dog is loose and tell them the dog is chasing children.

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