Port Charlotte, FL asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for Florida

Q: What do we do about the new neighbors dogs and verbal abuse?

Our neighbors who moved in recently have two Great Danes. We have a Catahoula Leopard. Our dog is super friendly and social with people and other dogs.

The dogs were okay at first, just sniffing and barking. Then their dogs started digging under our fence and barking aggressively every time we took ours outside. We started leashing our dog every time it needed to potty and training our dog to stop reacting to the barking. We also put barricades up on our side of the fence each time the digging from the other side began in a new spot.

While leash walking and working on training my dog, their dogs began barking aggressively and my dog pulled so hard that it got to the fence. By the time we got to the fence their dogs had their paws under our fence and scratched our dog multiple places. I stopped our dog and got him away from the fence.

We called animal control. Female resident now encouraging dogs to bark by the fence. Telling the dogs to "get them", and encouraging the bad behavior.

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: If Animal Control won't help you with this issue, you could hire a lawyer to send a cease-and-desist letter, demanding she stop the abusive conduct, or else. What is the "or else"? You could sue to enjoin the nuisance (seek a court order to stop specified acts). That would be expensive, with unpredictable results - but a lawyer's letter threatening litigation may strike fear of her bleeding funds to pay her lawyer if she doesn't comply. Now, there are some nuts out there who don't think rationally about potential future consequences, and if you have one of those, she may simply laugh at the letter. You may want to compare the expense and risks of pursuing legal avenues of relief with the cost of dig-proof fencing, with under-the-fence barriers, or erecting a wall if your local code permits walls.

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