[Market-farming] Animal and neighbor problems

KAKerby at aol.com KAKerby at aol.com
Tue Mar 29 21:25:52 EDT 2011

Absolutely get the sheriff involved, or Animal Control, or whatever.   Even 
if nothing has "happened" yet, it's time now to start documenting the  
pattern.  We had issues last year with a neighbor who after 10 years of  
peaceable co-existence, started making allegations and demands about how we  manage 
our animals.  They came onto the property once under false  pretenses and 
wanted to see our horses and cows to ensure they were "properly  cared for".  
Another time they came onto the property after we'd found  and adopted a 
beagle, claiming to know who the beagle belonged to and they  were there to 
"take the dog back to its owner".  Upon questioning they  would not provide 
the name, address or phone of the owner, and could  not explain why the owner 
hadn't contacted us directly despite Found ads online  and in print all over 
town because they didn't like his occassional barking (we  don't let him 
bark at night but he does sometimes bark during the day).   I'm pretty sure he 
just wanted to take the dog to the shelter and be done with  it.  After 
that, the same neighbor would shriek at us from their deck,  threatening to 
call Animal Control because we were obviously neglecting our  animals and/or 
had vicious dogs.  I called the sheriff at that point and  made a report.  
They said if the neighbor called AC, welcome the officer  with open arms but no 
I did not ever have to allow the neighbor on the property  for any reason.  
We later got licensed and inspected as a kennel to create  a record of our 
operation in case of future complaints.  Without that paper  trail, it's 
just a case of he said/she said.  Document these issues now,  and show law 
enforcement that you're the reasonable one trying to be proactive  and 
diplomatic.  Then if this escalates, you can report that escalation and  the 
neighbors will have a harder time claiming you're the unreasonable  one.  
Also, from a dog rescue list that I'm on: if neighbor dogs  are trespassing 
on the property, get a super-soaker watergun, loaded with red  koolaid and 
vinegar.  Some of the bigger guns can spray 20', which may or  may not be 
close enough.  But if you can hit the dog with the  spray, the vinegar is a 
good repellant, and the koolaid will stain the  fur.  If that 20' range isn't 
enough, get a paintball gun for longer  distances.  Then you can then make a 
report that "yes, that's the dog that  keeps getting on our property, 
Officer, the one with the red stains on its  fur......."  
Best of luck, and hang in there.  Our partner farm's  neighborhood has 
wandering dogs too, and I keep threatening to string field  fence around our 
growing area and be done with it.  In all that spare  time.....
Kathryn Kerby
Snohomish, WA
Ruminations - essays on the farming life at  frogchorusfarm.com/weblog.html
In a message dated 3/29/2011 5:55:17 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
wyatt_jones at netzero.com writes:

I'm not sure this is the right  place to mention this but I'm getting 
really frustrated with my neighbors and  their animals.  I've had quite a few 
problems with people letting their  dogs run loose but recently a man moved 
into a property adjoining mine and  I've had a few problems with him.  His dogs 
have gotten loose a few times  and though they didn't cause a lot of damage 
I had to talk to him about  it.  then he had some people working for him 
that took down part of my  fence and I had to go talk to him.  Then he got 
pigs and they are always  getting out.  I've talked to him about it but today I 
had to chase them  off my property and, instead of calling the sheriff like 
I felt like doing I  went down to talk to him, basically to tell him he had 
to do something about  them but he blew up at me and threatened to "punch 
me out".  The  only answer I got from him is "they're pigs, how am I going to 
keep them  in?"    Its early in the season so I haven't had any real  
damage from them but you know how pigs are, I can't have them destroying  months 
of work just because he can't control his animals.  
The neighbor on the other side of  me took down part of my fence a while 
back without talking to me and he is a  township trustee.  When I talked to 
him he was very hostile but I stood  my ground and told him he just can't do 
that without my consent.  He was  my propane vendor but after that he won't 
return my calls when I try to get  propane so I have to get another source 
and replace the tanks.  I still  keep finding his trucks parked on my property 
and he seems to think my lane is  his private backdoor driveway.  I try to 
get along with people but I'm at  a loss here.  It seems I'm going to have 
to start getting the law  involved when this stuff happens as they don't seem 
to respect my  rights.  I don't know, maybe I'm not diplomatic enough or 
something but  this stuff seems like just a lack common respect for the rights 
of  others.  I really hate having to get nasty about this stuff but I guess 
I  have to.  I'd really like to be able to get along with the people around 
 me.  A new fence would help I guess but that's a lot of fence and I  can't 
afford it right now.  
Anyway, any suggestions?   

Sorry to vent, this stuff along  with the problems my fathers estate are 
causing me are frustrating the heck  out of me.  And then there is this woman 
stalking me but that's another  story.  Not the best year so far LOL.
Wyatt Jones
Jamestown,  Ohio

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