Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My neighbors have three large (100 lbs) dogs that constantly run and jump on our shared fence when we go outside. This incessant jumping is tearing our old, rotting fence apart and I am terrified that one of the dogs (or the whole pack) is going to come into our yard and attack someone. I have talked to our neighbor about splitting the cost of a new fence (though we do not have any animals) and she agreed but now alternates between avoiding us or telling us she needs another month or so.
I recently noticed ANOTHER dog has been added to her pack. How do I get my neighbor to be responsible for her pets and other people’s safety without shelling out for the fence myself?
Also, I talked to our Home Owner’s Association and they said our best bet is to call Animal Control – but the dogs haven’t broken through the fence YET. Do I have to wait until they do so to take some action?
Sick of the Doggone Neighbors
Dear Sick of the Doggone Neighbors,
I thought there was an adage that went something like, “If you want something to get done, do it yourself,” but Google didn’t seem to think so. Maybe I just made it up. Or maybe that’s just what my husband says to me when I hand him his Honey Do list.
Regardless, I think the answer here is pretty clear: fix the damn fence yourself. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to go out there with hammers and nails, but you should hire someone, bribe someone, or otherwise make this magic happen. If your neighbor is giving you the runaround, he or she either really doesn’t have the money or otherwise does not think of the fence as a priority. The fact that it is YOUR top priority will not change your neighbor’s mind. I don’t know if there is a legal route for you to take, but even if there were, the process would be lengthier and more costly than a fence, I’d wager.
The alternative is to continue this game of doggie roulette every time you and your family are in the backyard, and that sounds about as fun as playing hide-and-seek with some grizzly bears. And if you need visual encouragement, just imagine what would have happened here if THIS fence were not properly tended to: