bookishaviator
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Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:41 am

So my next door neighbour's dog appears to be suffering from some massive separation anxiety issues. Whenever my neighbours are not home, this dog barks incessantly (and loudly) with no respite. Normally this hasn't posed too much of a problem - my neighbours are rarely away from home for more than a couple of hours at a time and I have tended to tune the noise out.

However my neighbours recently spent 4 days away and, yes, you guessed it, this dog did not give up. From about 9 every morning to 9 every night, this dog simply did not shut up. Someone would turn up to the house once a day to (I assume) replenish the dog's food and water supply, although they would be there for a maximum of 10 minutes a time, so obviously didn't provide the dog with any decent amount of stimulation or exercise.

Worst of all, on the last of those days the temperature hit 41C (106F) and this poor creature was left outdoors to fend for itself. I started to worry about its health, so peeked my head over the fence to find the animal looking completely exhausted and listless. Without knowing what else to do at that moment, I grabbed the garden hose and sprayed cold water all over the place, much to the dog's delight. Very shortly after that, I heard my neighbours arrive home.

My neighbours are not particularly reasonable or approachable people (for reasons not worth going into here), so I feel very uncomfortable knocking on their door to tell them their dog is a problem and that I believe they're mistreating the animal. But what else to do? Do I go straight to my local council and complain? Perhaps drop an anonymous letter in their mail box? Other thoughts? Or just shut it and deal with it?
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AR385
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:34 am

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
But what else to do? Do I go straight to my local council and complain?

That is the most sensible course, given how you describe your neighbors.
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:56 am

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
Worst of all, on the last of those days the temperature hit 41C (106F) and this poor creature was left outdoors to fend for itself.


The dog was left outside, the whole time? Big problem. The owners may well be guilty (strong word, I know) of neglect. Never really understood folks that get a pet, but don't keep it in the house.

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
My neighbours are not particularly reasonable or approachable people (for reasons not worth going into here), so I feel very uncomfortable knocking on their door to tell them their dog is a problem and that I believe they're mistreating the animal. But what else to do? Do I go straight to my local council and complain? Perhaps drop an anonymous letter in their mail box? Other thoughts? Or just shut it and deal with it?


Considering that your neighbors appear to be a-holes (based on their treatment of the dog and your other description), I wouldn't even bother with an anonymous letter. It will be ignored and you AND all your neighbors will be blamed. Just go ahead ad contact your local animal control officer. Detail what you have seen and/or heard and let them cite the owners and/or take the animal away.
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usflyer msp
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:02 am

sneak in and feed it some chocolate...
 
WestJet747
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:03 am

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 2):

   I think you're 100% on point here. These owners clearly aren't rational (at least when it comes to pet ownership), and it would be a waste of time to confront them. Going to the local animal control organization is the best course of action. I think in Australia that's the RSPCA?
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fr8mech
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:07 am

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 3):
sneak in and feed it some chocolate...

That would be blaming the dog for what is obviousely an owner issue.

Sneak in and replace the owner's chocolate with Ex-Lax.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
Unless it's expressly prohibited, it's allowed.
You are not entitled to a public safe space.
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Maverick623
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:52 am

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
so I feel very uncomfortable knocking on their door to tell them their dog is a problem and that I believe they're mistreating the animal.

Good, because that is probably the dumbest thing you could do. It's not proper to go over and outright accuse someone of animal neglect, and it's even worse to do it without a shred of evidence.

Unless the dog is barking at all hours of the night, and the other neighbors will complain about it, you're either gonna have to put up with it or move, since you've (rightly or wrongly) ruled out making polite conversation with the neighbor.
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cabso1
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:47 am

Try contacting the RSCPA?
 
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GSPFlyer
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:58 am

I don't know what you call the organization that is in charge of investigating cruelty charges in Oz, but you should contact them and tell them about the situation. Since it's your summer, there are probably more hot days ahead.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:04 am

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 2):

The dog was left outside, the whole time? Big problem. The owners may well be guilty (strong word, I know) of neglect. Never really understood folks that get a pet, but don't keep it in the house.
Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 4):
Going to the local animal control organization is the best course of action.

When fr8mech, WJ747, and I all agree on the same thing at the same time, it must be right.     

Amen. Dogs are not wild animals. They are domestic animals.

If anything, for the good of the dog, call your local animal shelter/SPCA and ask them what they recommend. They can steer you in the right direction.
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Geezer
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:47 am

Anyone who will leave an animal outside, when it's 106 degrees outside, should be hauled into court and dealt with severely; I don't know how such things work in Australia, but in Indiana they would have the animal removed, and be heavily fined. You didn't mention, but I'm wondering........in that much heat, did the dog have shade and plenty of water?

When it's that hot out, a dog must have an abundance of water and also must have shade, or it can easily prove to be fatal.


BTW.........I also have a "neighbor's dog" problem, but it's nothing like your problem; our neighbors have three dogs and they are all free to run loose at all times; I like all three of them, and they are no problem to me, but one of them is a female white German Shepard, and she despises our female dog, and has come very nearly killing her on three occasions; the first time it cost me $200 at the Vet to have her sewed up, and the second time, it cost me $350 ! So now, in order to avoid my dog getting killed, I have to keep her tied on the front porch, and she only has the run of a 75 ft cable. If I walk down to the neighbor's house, all three dogs run out to greet me, and we're all great friends.....so it's not like I can do anything to the dog, as I would never harm a dog, unless it was trying to bite me.

The biggest problem is, we are very good friends with the neighbors, and I don't wish to have neighbor problems with good people that I like, and that like me ! My other outside dog is a male, so he can go to the neighbor's to "visit", and there's no problems ! It's just one of those things that has no good answer.

Charley
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bookishaviator
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:39 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 6):
Unless the dog is barking at all hours of the night

No, it's not. I'm less bothered about the barking and how it annoys me than I am about the dog's wellbeing (poorly chosen thread title in that respect).

Quoting Geezer (Reply 10):
You didn't mention, but I'm wondering........in that much heat, did the dog have shade and plenty of water?

It had access to shade, there's a pergola in their backyard - however I'm not sure that makes all that much difference when it's 41C outside.

I'm just amazed that people choose to have animals but then won't take adequate care of them. I mean, come on, you don't just leave a dog out in that kind of heat - that particular day had been forecasted well in advance to hit 40+! I keep thinking about my pooch (who sadly passed away a few months ago) - I could never contemplate mistreating him like that. What a horrible thought.

Anyway, the Victorian branch of the RSPCA does have an inspectorate service for investigation of alleged cruelty. 'Nuisance' animals are however a local council issue. Hmm. Need to investigate a bit further.

Thanks for the responses.
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fr8mech
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:52 am

Quoting bookishaviator (Reply 11):
Anyway, the Victorian branch of the RSPCA does have an inspectorate service for investigation of alleged cruelty. 'Nuisance' animals are however a local council issue. Hmm. Need to investigate a bit further.

Leaving the dog out in high temperatures without access to adequate shade AND water is cruelty.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
Unless it's expressly prohibited, it's allowed.
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bookishaviator
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:55 am

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 12):
Leaving the dog out in high temperatures without access to adequate shade AND water is cruelty.

Very much agreed. Need to make a phone call in the morning to find out more about how these guys work and what they think.
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Quokkas
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:43 am

I had a similar problem with neighbours leaving a dog by itself for extended periods. They weren't actually living in the house but kept the dog there, presumably to deter burglars. But dogs are social animals and can get very stressed when left alone for long periods. This poor thing barked all day and most of the night for several weeks. It would bark from about seven in the morning until about three the following morning, when it gave up from exhaustion.

It was hard to contact the neighbours because they came at irregular hours to feed the dog and provide water so, in the end, I simply wrote them a letter. I stated my concerns about the dog and assured them that I was sure that they did not mean to be cruel but that the dog was clearly stressed. I politely suggested that they do something before I contacted the local authority and reported a nuisance under the Dog Act. The neighbours might not have liked getting the letter but the barking stopped. Not long after, the owners sold the house to a very nice couple who have a well-balanced dog.
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Maverick623
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:59 am

Quoting bookishaviator (Reply 11):

I'm just amazed that people choose to have animals but then won't take adequate care of them. I mean, come on, you don't just leave a dog out in that kind of heat

They didn't. The "caretaker" did, at least according to your story:

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
However my neighbours recently spent 4 days away
Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
Someone would turn up to the house
Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
I grabbed the garden hose and sprayed cold water all over the place, much to the dog's delight. Very shortly after that, I heard my neighbours arrive home.

So unless they continued to lock the dog outside in the heat, you have nothing that even comes close to an animal cruelty charge, much less anything that suggests a pattern of behavior.

It sounds more like you had a bad encounter with the neighbors and are looking to get back at them:

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
My neighbours are not particularly reasonable or approachable people (for reasons not worth going into here)
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bookishaviator
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:11 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 15):
It sounds more like you had a bad encounter with the neighbors and are looking to get back at them

No - you misjudge. I've personally had no bad encounters or disputes with them.
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Maverick623
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:49 am

Quoting bookishaviator (Reply 16):

No - you misjudge. I've personally had no bad encounters or disputes with them.

Then how do you know they're not "reasonable or approachable"?
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RussianJet
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:56 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 17):
Then how do you know they're not "reasonable or approachable"?

Indeed. Although the OP has attempted to gloss-over this point originally, it is pretty key to making a recommendation for action here. Not least, if you grass them up to the RSPCA or whoever, are they likely to immediately know who did it?
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WestJet747
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:42 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
When fr8mech, WJ747, and I all agree on the same thing at the same time, it must be right.

Ha! Very true!

Quoting Geezer (Reply 10):
When it's that hot out, a dog must have an abundance of water and also must have shade, or it can easily prove to be fatal.

   Dogs don't have sweat glands covering they're bodies like humans do, they're means of "sweating" is only through ventilation via the tongue and mouth (panting). Dogs can overheat extremely quickly in heat like that if they aren't well hydrated, and even if they have plenty of water they can still be physically distressed if it's hot enough (depends on breed and age as well).

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 15):
So unless they continued to lock the dog outside in the heat, you have nothing that even comes close to an animal cruelty charge, much less anything that suggests a pattern of behavior.

That's not how it works, Maverick. That's like saying "it's not assault because I only kicked him once". Cruelty charges aren't based on patterns of behaviour, they can come about from a single instance, whether due to negligence or not.

Plus, the OP has the grounds and the right to investigate as he wishes. If he calls the RSPCA, it's for the well-being of the dog, it's not like they can arrest the owners.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 15):
It sounds more like you had a bad encounter with the neighbors and are looking to get back at them:

The fact that he continuously says it's for the dog's well-being is very telling. As I mention above, the RSPCA is a care organization, not a legal authority, so all they can do is remove the animal if there appears to be mistreatment from their observations. If the OP was truly interested in harassing the neighbours, he would have already contacted city council, or the police.

Nancy Grace-type accusations won't hold water here.
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:09 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 2):
Never really understood folks that get a pet, but don't keep it in the house.

Oh the stories I can tell about stupid pet owners here in the American south. There seems to be a serious shortage of responsible pet owners in this region. It seems the usually thing that happens is the family gets a dog, throws it in the back yard and then forgets about it. Then the dog gets bored and the barking begins. I had this same exact problem with my neighbors before. They had a black lab they just threw in the back yard and forgot about it.

That dog would bark all day long and they too left it out in +100 degree temps. One day it was 101F and I had to go over with a bucket of cold water and spray the dog down with water (evaporative cooling). I then left a note for the owner and brought the dog into my home to recover in the air conditioning. They were thankful when they saw my note and I explained to them that you just can't keep a black dog outside on these very hot days without adequate cool water and shade. A few week later, it happened again. This time I made them aware that they could be arrested for animal cruelty and face a stiff fine and even worse their dog could be taken from them. I work at the local shelter as a animal behaviorist and I am in close contact with animal control officers.

Eventually they got rid of the dog and got a smaller one. Not too long after we were having the same problem again. When I reminded them about the heat they DID keep the dog in the house during the day but in the evening the dog would be let out and this time it would "fence fight" with my dogs. My dogs would just be minding their own business and their dog would run up and down the fence barking at them. My Rhodesian Ridgeback didn't care for this too much
and we'd have barking all evening long. So my dogs were restricted to only a limited time in their own yard to cut down on the barking.

I went over and talked to the owners and offered them training tips about how to prevent this fence fighting and then we could all live in harmony. He followed my tips for about three days and gave up. He made no effort to correct his dog even when he was out there in the back yard with it. The guy is a total idiot.

I have cooled our relationship with these neighbors. They are just too aggravating for me to deal with them. But I won't let them get away with animal cruelty, it's just not fair to the dog.

And don't even get me started about all the cats running free in the neighborhood.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 12):
Leaving the dog out in high temperatures without access to adequate shade AND water is cruelty.

Absolutely correct!

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 19):
Plus, the OP has the grounds and the right to investigate as he wishes. If he calls the RSPCA, it's for the well-being of the dog, it's not like they can arrest the owners.

Here in the USA they CAN arrest the owners for animal cruelty and face a stiff fine and/or loss of their dog.
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zckls04
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:28 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 15):
They didn't. The "caretaker" did, at least according to your story:
Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 15):
So unless they continued to lock the dog outside in the heat, you have nothing that even comes close to an animal cruelty charge, much less anything that suggests a pattern of behavior.

Whilst it clearly IS neglect to leave a dog out in heat without water even once, Maverick does raise a good point about the caretaker. Are you absolutely sure the neighbors were aware of how the dog was being treated? If they weren't they might want to be made aware of it and a chat with them/anonymous letter might not be as pointless as everybody thinks.

Separation anxiety in dogs is often very hard to deal with, so the barking etc should be viewed as a different issue. The owners might just be having trouble training the dog which is not a crime.

I would assume for the moment that the owners misjudged their choice of dogsitter and are otherwise innocent. Then just keep an eye out and see if they do anything to prove you wrong.
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WestJet747
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:52 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 20):
Here in the USA they CAN arrest the owners for animal cruelty and face a stiff fine and/or loss of their dog.

Animal welfare agents cannot arrest anyone, they can only refer the issue to the police if they feel the charges are serious enough.

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 21):
Whilst it clearly IS neglect to leave a dog out in heat without water even once, Maverick does raise a good point about the caretaker. Are you absolutely sure the neighbors were aware of how the dog was being treated? If they weren't they might want to be made aware of it and a chat with them/anonymous letter might not be as pointless as everybody thinks.

So the OP should wait until it happens again to do something? I don't buy that. As I mentioned previously, let the RSPCA investigate, so that if it is because of bad owners, it won't happen again potentially endangering the dog's life.
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zckls04
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:03 pm

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 22):
So the OP should wait until it happens again to do something? I don't buy that. As I mentioned previously, let the RSPCA investigate, so that if it is because of bad owners, it won't happen again potentially endangering the dog's life.

Not sure how much power the RSPCA would have to enter somebody's home and inspect the dog. I think the dog would have to be outside again; i.e. they would have to be able to see the neglect from the street to remove the dog or refer it elsewhere.

I realize your point- that you want to avoid any more cruelty- but I still think an anonymous letter stating that the dogsitter mistreated the dogs is not as pointless as others on this thread think. If the OP wants to call the RSPCA too then he can, but if the dog is no longer outside then you'd have to count on some other visible sign of neglect for them to be able to do anything. If you do call them, you should ensure they tell the owners exactly on what day the neglect was observed, so they can connect the dots and realize the sitter did it.
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DocLightning
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:37 pm

Quoting bookishaviator (Reply 11):
Anyway, the Victorian branch of the RSPCA does have an inspectorate service for investigation of alleged cruelty. 'Nuisance' animals are however a local council issue. Hmm. Need to investigate a bit further.

Like I said, call the RSPCA and ask what they think you should do. They are the experts, after all.
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fr8mech
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:03 pm

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 23):
Not sure how much power the RSPCA would have to enter somebody's home and inspect the dog. I think the dog would have to be outside again; i.e. they would have to be able to see the neglect from the street to remove the dog or refer it elsewhere.

If the abuse/neglect/cruelty is a pattern, then it will be easy to spot form the street.

From what I gather from the OP, the dog is kept outside. Now, this isn't abuse in-of-itself. I know a few folks who keep their dogs outside for a variety of reasons. But, there is always shelter and food/water. In the last year of his life, my then 13 year old, wanted to stay in the garage. He refused to come into the house. Temperature didn't matter. We ran a kerosene heater whenever the temp got into the 20's and ensured he had a comfortable bed to lay on, in a corner of the garage. In the summer, windows were open with a fan in the window to keep air moving. Some dogs are like that.

If this dog is kept outside in 40c+ temps with only a pergola as shelter...that's a problem.

Do these people interact with the dog? Is the dog always chained up outside? Is he always chained?

You can drop an anonymous letter if you want, but if the behaviour is patterned, it won't deter them.

Contact the RSPCA and let them investigate. And contact them everytime you notice neglect.
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:25 pm

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 21):
Maverick does raise a good point about the caretaker. Are you absolutely sure the neighbors were aware of how the dog was being treated? If they weren't they might want to be made aware of it and a chat with them/anonymous letter might not be as pointless as everybody thinks.

About 10 years ago I hired a dog care taker to take care of my dogs when I was gone. I paid a premium price to have her come over three times a day. Then I had a neighbor monitor my house and the caretakers visits. She came over once a day for 10 minutes and that was the end of it.

When I got home and saw the log my neighbor made of her once a day visits while being paid for three visits a day I promptly sent her a demand letter for the return of the funds I had paid her (She wanted payment upfront). She wouldn't comply. I went to court and received $3,500 as a settlement for breach of contract. She still wouldn't pay so I hired a collection agency to dun her until she did. I went back to court one more time and had the debt collection fees added to my settlement. I would say she probably won't be screwing anyone else like that over again anytime soon. She learned a lesson about saying she will do one thing while actually doing another.
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TheCommodore
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:30 pm

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
Or just shut it and deal with it?

Ever heard of the RSPCA ?

Should be the first port of call, then council.
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Superfly
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:12 am

I had a similar issue with my neighbors in San Francisco.
The family who were new-monied Chinese immigrants bought a huge Harlequin Great Dane.
It grew to be about 150 pounds and was heavier than the owner's wife. They left the dog in the backyard and he barked like crazy all day and night. They would leave town and the dog would just bark and run around in circles crapping all over the place.
We called the animal control to report abuse. I overheard the conversation with the officer and the neighbor. The officer accepted a bribe and that is free meals at his restaurant for him and fellow officers. I never forget the officer saying; "well I'm supposed to cite you for this but I won't".
I called to report the bribe and the department didn't want to believe me and said that he is one of their best officers and would never do such. I gave up at that point and I knew I was moving out in a few months.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:53 am

If the neighbours can't be approached, leave a note at their door, if no improvement, inform the Authorities......
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RussianJet
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:24 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 28):
I called to report the bribe and the department didn't want to believe me and said that he is one of their best officers and would never do such. I gave up at that point and I knew I was moving out in a few months.

That absolutely SUCKS. As if it wasn't bad enough that such corruption, incompetence and irresponsibility goes on in organisations that serve the public, that sort of thing also makes people less inclined to do the right thing and report their concerns. Grr.
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Type-Rated
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:11 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 29):
If the neighbors can't be approached, leave a note at their door, if no improvement, inform the Authorities......

This seems to be the best way to handle it, for the sake of the animal.
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Superfly
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:30 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 30):
That absolutely SUCKS. As if it wasn't bad enough that such corruption, incompetence and irresponsibility goes on in organisations that serve the public, that sort of thing also makes people less inclined to do the right thing and report their concerns. Grr.



I blame nepotism for that. The agent I spoke with could have very well been the sister, daughter, niece, wife or cousin of the officer I was reporting.
Nepotism is a huge problem with the city & county of San Francisco. They're very brazen an open about it too. No one gives a damn.
Not sure what happened to the dog.
Bring back the Concorde
 
RussianJet
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RE: Neighbour's Dog Driving Me Crazy - What To Do?

Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:50 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 32):
I blame nepotism for that. The agent I spoke with could have very well been the sister, daughter, niece, wife or cousin of the officer I was reporting.
Nepotism is a huge problem with the city & county of San Francisco. They're very brazen an open about it too. No one gives a damn.

Sad. I guess there is of course the possibility that they genuinely may have thought he was a good and conscientious officer and didn't know any better, but I guess that's the unrealistically optimistic version.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈

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