[Market-farming] Animal and neighbor problems

Thamnophis thamnophis at gmail.com
Tue Mar 29 23:43:05 EDT 2011

I'm glad someone mentioned the idea of the "lawful fence". Old laws
like these are worth knowing.

I used to work with animal control and saw a lot of mistakes neighbors
made grappling with animal issues. Some would pit neighbors against
each other for decades. But it sounds like your on the right track.
Respectfully talking to your neighbor is a good start, but first know
the law - are you allowed to shoot a stray dog, cat, hog, for
instance? Who is responsible for damages caused by the animal?

One thing I would suggest is don't get started with a discussion of
details. If the law says the neighbor can't let their dog bark, or pig
run, don't get into a discussion of what problems their dog barking
causes for you, or what damage their wandering pig could do to your

If it is the law to keep your dogs quiet or your pig at home, just ask
that they abide by the law. I have a neighbor 1/4 mile away whose dog
visited a couple times a week. When I asked him to keep it home he
responded with "Why?" , "What harm is it doing?" - which produced a
long debate about how *I* could deal with his irresponsibility!

Accidents will always happen and should be treated as accidents. But
it sounds like you have been more than considerate. I would ask the
animal control or sheriff to explain the legal consequences to your
neighbor - it is their job - then make sure they understand you plan
to exercise your rights to protect your property.

If, at that point, they don't bother to respect you, I wouldn't bother
to respect them. When they detect the smell of smoked pork wafting
through the trees they'll know you have found a solution to their
wandering pigs :-)

Boone County, IA

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 8:28 PM, Mike Rock <mikerock at mhtc.net> wrote:
> Wyatt,
> Which fencing law does your state have, right or left hand?  Find out.
> When you or your neighbor views the fence, each is responsible for their
> half (right or left).  Even if they don't have livestock and you do, they
> must maintain their half of the fence.  You are responsible for roadway

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