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Advice about Pets > Aggressive Dogs
I'm looking for some guidance on finding a lawyer to talk to
(preferably cheaply or for free) about an incident that
might have involved my dog. On Crissy Fields beach a woman
was knocked down by one of several dogs who were running
together, my dog was among them. She seemed to have hurt her
knee, we went over immediately to make sure she was ok, see
if we could help. None of the other owners did so. Her
father asked me for my name and address, and (feeling uneasy
about it, but feeling it was the right thing to do) I gave
it to him. Now I'm terrified that I'm going to be held
responsible for her medical costs, even though the dog
(whichever one it was) didn't attack her, or even jump up at
her, they just knocked into her. Anyway, I'd like to know
one way or another if I'm responsible. Any ideas on who I
should talk to?
worried dog owner
you did the right thing to give the father your name and address. You
actually have no choice, either, as you are legally responsible for the
actions of your dog. You MUST give your name and address if it is your
dog. There's really no advice anyone can give you since you are on the
defense side, not the plaintiff side, so there's nothing you can do but
respond if they contact you. THEN you ask for advice. As a dog owner, if
there were other dogs involved, I don't think you have anything to worry
about. The very worst scenario is they COULD ask you to pay for her
medical bills, but I think that is a far stretch at this point. If I were
you, I would write down all the details you can remember NOW, any
friends/family who were with you, time of day, etc, just to note the
details as we forget these things as time goes on. Paralegal pet owner
I recently heard more and more about aggressive dogs on a
loose attacking innocent dogs and their walkers. The latest
news caused the victim dog to be euthanized which really
I am a new dog owner and have recently adopted a dog about
four months ago. I will try my best to avoid any aggressive
dogs, but sometimes they can come out charging really fast.
Any advice on how to deal with the situation if that
happens to me while walking my dog? There is a citronella
spray, and I am not sure if that is a good idea. Pepper
spray might not be legal?
I really appreciate any advice/ recommendations.
I'm actually interested in the responses you get from this
question as this issue has recently become my newest pet
peeve. I have a very well behaved, very submissive almost
two year old Bernese Mountain Dog that gets attacked
regularly by aggressive dogs. There are a TON of people
with bad dogs in the area and I have particular trouble up
in Tilden and Redwood parks, but not so much at Point
Isabel. I find it very offensive and troubling that I have
to constantly accommodate other peoples' bad dogs that they
don't or didn't take the time to train appropriately as I
spent a lot of time to train my dog. I too have considered
pepper spray but am also afraid of possible consequences.
One thing I will say that helped a little, but not much, was
getting our dog neutered. It cut the attacks down by say
25%. I don't want to, but if my dog gets attacked badly
enough I plan on reporting the aggressive dog to the
authorities and suing the owner if necessary.
Annoyed with bad dog owners.
last week, my dog & i were attacked at alameda dog park by a
175-200lb english mastiff named ''violet''(not pitbull);
unbelievably terrifying. we're mostly okay but i got bit
and have a tweaked knee, very lucky. woman/owner left
without leaving contact information. really sucks.
1) alameda police department advised me that pepper spray IS
LEGAL as long as it is the over-the-counter variety (not the
law enforcement type). so i am now carrying it with me at
all times while out with my dog. officer did state that i
could be held legally responsible for misuse of the spray.
all i can say is, if i suffer another attack like that, i
will take my medicine later about the spray. simply said, i
thought we both were going to the ER or worse.
2) it's important to get back on the horse. my first day
back to the dog park i had a horrible fear reaction to a
huge pitbull (a big 'ol lovebug). dog's are keen at sensing
fear and can feed on that, so i have gone back every day to
work on eliminating those feelings for my own long term
3) don't ignor red flags. violet had roughed up a smaller
dog previous to our attack. next time i will leave or at
least stay far away from dogs that exhibit ANY
4) i avoid dog parks on weekends. seems to bring out more
amateur weekend warriers who don't have a handle on their
dogs. plus if you get to know the regulars, they have your
5) if attacked or witness an attack, use phone to call 911
and photograph owner. try to get license plate if owner
leaves. bites need to go on dog's record, so animal control
can work with owner to get proper training minimally, and to
determine rabies status. (i was too shook up to do this, and
thought she would return after putting her dog in the car...
6) make sure your own dog has impeccable recall training.
that way he/she will come to you fast in case you need to
leave a bad situation.
sam and k-dog
A baseball bat or golf club works for me.
If your not the athletic type most bicycle shops sell Halt
which contains the active ingredient of chili peppers. The
spray is in a stream so it can be aimed. Most mailcarriers
have it as standard issue.
strike three you're out
It is no wonder that dog bites are the number one source of injuries in the East
Bay Regional Parks. It is no wonder that it is very hard to keep goats, sheep, and
young cattle safe from dogs anywhere near town.
There are electronic devices that supposedly will stop a dog attack through a
high frequency sound. You might look into that. I would have that AND pepper
spray in case the sound did not work.
I don't know if I am making a big deal out of nothing, or if my
neighbor's dog is too aggressive and potentially dangerous to
my kids. I know absolutely nothing about dogs. Our neighbor
has a dog/mutt that is part husky and part I-don't-know-
what...... He is long haired, black and about 3'
high....probably 75ish pounds....so he is not a small dog. He
is about 4 years old so is no longer a puppy.
A year ago the dog nipped at my toddler's face with no
warning....no growl...no nothing....just a sudden lurching
towards my son's face. We were all standing very close to the
dog and the dog had a chew bone in it's mouth. I guess my kid
was too close to the dog. (I know, I know---Believe me-I've
learned my lesson!) Since my toddler's lip was bleeding, my
docter insisted that I take him in to Children's hospital.
They concluded that it was minor and required no further
action. They wanted, however, to report the dog bite but we
decided to avoid doing so since 1-the harm was minor, 2-I felt
partially responsible since we were on their side of the front
yard obviously too close to a dog with a bone in its mouth, 3-
we didn't want to unnecessarily damage neighborly relations,
and 4-this was the first time anything happened and we didn't
believe the dog was dangerous. I communicated all of this to
my neighbors (who have 2 older kids) and requested they no
longer allow the dog off leash in the front yard, where we
often play. (Does the dog now think he has domination over
my toddler because of the nip/biting attempt?) They seemed
grateful we didn't report the dog and indicated that they'd
keep him on leash. Months later, the dog was running around
off leash again.
(Yes-it is against Richmond City ordinances to let a dog off
leash and it is also against my homeowner's association's
CC&Rs. I guess this didn't mean anything to them).
Months after the biting/nipping incident, the dog - yes off
leash -(again in the front yard) began barking and charged me
while I was in my house closing the front window. Again the
neighbor witnessed it. After I complained again, they agreed
to keep the dog on leash, although they made it clear to me
that they weren't happy with the arrangement.
Today I was in the back yard with my toddler and he was playing
at the fence line. This same dog came barking and charging
over to my toddler who back away from the fence....think god
his hand wasn't playing though the fence. The owner witnessed
this and called the dog away from the fence. I said nothing
except to get my toddler away from the fence line. Should I be
worried about this act of aggression or is this simply dog
behaviour that needs to be tolerated?
This incident makes me feel like I cannot allow my children to
play in the backyard without my vigilent presence. isn't that
ridiculous? I am getting fed up and don't know if my
intolerance is due to ignorance of dog behaviour or if this dog
is too aggressive and should be dealt with more proactively
(If so-what would that be?) I would like feedback before I
approach my neighbors again.
Should I plant something thorny all along the long fence line?
Get a rotweiler? I don't want to make a big deal out of
nothing, but at the same time, I don't want to feel aggressed
upon by some stupid dog when I am in my own backyard. If I
didn't have kids, I'd probably be less motivated to follow up
on this. Any comments or suggestions are truely appreciated!
anon for now
The dog is aggressive and should be reported immediately. You
have been more than patient with the owners (certainly more than
I would be!) but the fact that that this dog has charged you,
bitten your child, charged the fence at your child, etc. is
Here's a true story: My mom lives next to a family who has a
history of owning aggressive, big dogs. They have always kept
their dogs on leash when out of their yard. Last month their bull
mastiff, who has never had a history of aggression, attacked his
owner. He was on a choke leash, which probably was the only thing
that saved the owner's life. The man is well over 6 feet and
around 200 pounds, but the dog knocked him down and went for his
throat. The owner's arm (which was protecting his throat) was
bitten through to the bone, his thigh had a chunk taken out of
it, and he will need surgery to repair the damage done to his
hand. He attacked completely out of the blue.
The reason this is so scary to me is that there is a park and a
school nearby, so kids are walking around all the time. We visit
all the time with our own children, who are 3 and 5, and often
met the dog on his walk. This dog was on a leash when he
attacked, and he surprised the owner so that he fell. Who's to
say whether he would have attacked a child? Luckily my mother's
neighbor is okay. I'm sad to say that he had to put the dog down,
which does make me sad because it seems like a waste of a life.
For general safety however it was the right thing to do.
It looks to me like you have had plenty of warnings and second
chances with this dog. For the safety of your family I would
report the dog immediately.
Well, some of this dog's behavior could be categorized as ''typical.''
most dogs will be territorial and guard their territory by charging and
However, this dog sounds as if he is doing more than just that--and
your child until he bleeds, however minor, is NOT okay. Your neighbors
what I, as a dog owner, would consider to be irresponsible dog owners.
dog has not been properly socialized. The dog should have been
to your family, made to sit and be greeted and petted by every one, and
single act of agression toward you should be met with a firm ''NO''
socialization behavior) until the dog gets the message that he is not
aggressively toward you. I have two dogs and make sure that my dogs
the neighbors in my building (5 apartments). I am with them at all
they are in the back yard. They have been well socialized, so they are
about being friendly to people that walk up. The youngest will still
charge the window when she's inside the apartment and some one walks by
outside, but otherwise, she's very well behaved.
You should definitely be concerned, these dog owners don't seem know
enough about dogs, either and are not teaching theirs well.
As a dog owner, let me assure you from my experience you are
dealing with an aggressive dog. It sounds like you have been
more than accomodating with the neighbor and it's time to put
your foot down and INSIST that the dog be on leash at all
times. Otherwise, report the incident right away to local
animal authority. Please do not risk your child (or yourself)
being injured again or more seriously. I had to have a ''chat''
with my neighbor just the other day--for the second time in as
many days, her dog snapped at my 2 year old when she went up to
the fence that borders our properties. I marched over there
after it happened and we reacquainted the dog and my daughter
again so this hopefully won't happen again. I know that her dog
is her ''baby'', but my daughter's wellbeing is more important and
would not hesitate to report the dog to animal welfare if it
EVER happens again. (I would also not hesitate to take more
drastic measures if animal control is unresponsive.)
love dogs, but love my kid more
Dog ownership in cities -- it's a can of worms. People have very
strong feelings on both sides of the issue. There are many
careful and thoughtful dog owners out there -- but there are also
a number of thoughtless people who do not keep their dogs under
control. When I go running at the Albany shoreline park, for
instance, most of the dogs (all running off-leash) do not bother
me. They stay near their owners or are under their owners'
control. But at least five or six times dogs have pursued me,
jumped up and scratched me with muddy claws, run in front of me so
that I almost fell, etc., while their owners conversed (a couple
of times on the phone!). As a result I am always nervous when I
see the dogs, even when I know that most times there will be no
problem. And I am not afraid of dogs under normal circumstances; I
have owned a dog (on the farm) and like them as a general rule. I
can just imagine how people must feel who are afraid of dogs.
They would not be able to go running at the shore! Once a woman
with a dog explained to me (quite seriously) that I should not let
my child ride his bike on the paved shore path because ''it upsets
the dogs and they might chase him.'' Priorities?
I would go to the neighbors and tell them that you respect their
desire and right to have a dog and that you want to be a good
neighbor to them. But the situation is out of hand from your
point of view and they have not listened to repeated requests to
control their dog. As them for suggestions about what they might
do to improve the situation -- i.e. plant a thorny bush on THEIR
side of the fence, keep the dog indoors, etc., and tell them that
they must follow through. If there is an ordinance that says that
dogs in the front yard must be on leash, then you must demand
that. I doubt that you can make the same kind of demands about
the backyard, but you can make it clear that the dog must be under
control and that you will call the police if the problem
people first, dogs second
It does seem as if your neighbor has an aggressive dog. Some of them
are that aggressive, especially if they have not been trained not to be
(which can be a lot of work, depending on the dog's personality).
However, you shouldn't have to tolerate that kind of behavior, as it is
dangerous to you and your family.
Unfortunately, dealing with undesirable dog behavior can be a big
problem. One can report behavior such as aggression or excessive
barking many times without getting results, especially if the owner
particularly cooperative (I've seen this in my neighborhood).
In all seriousness, I might install a fence and/or hedge, if you're not
averse to something like this, and if you can't get the owner to -- as
should -- control the dog's behavior.
That dog does not sound typical; it sounds like a danger to your
child and you. I think you have been very kind to your neighbor
and have tried to resolve things in a neighborly way, and they
have taken advantage of you. I think you need to make that
formal complaint. It may be too late to press charges about the
earlier bite, but you should now call the authorities every time
that dog is off-leash, explaining its history. In order to
protect your child, you need to take action. Also, the dog may
harm some other child, so you would be protecting them too.
Remember that dog in San Francisco that killed a woman? If the
neighbors had complained sooner she might still be alive.
--loves dogs, but not aggressive ones
I have some experience with dogs, we used to have one and have
read extensively on the topic. For what I read, this dog is
agressive and should be reported. Your neighbors don't seem to
care to correct the dog, yes they can do that, or to do
something about it. Dogs are trained that no matter wbat human
is nearby when they eat, they are not allowed to growl or in any
way show territorialism. Now, territorialism is not bad if the
person nearby has bad intentions, but not when they are friends,
and particularly NOT with small children. Please do report this
behavior, you alredy had an incident with this dog. Don't worry
about neighborly relations at this point. They don't care, as
proven by their behavior. If I were you, I would do it to
protect my children and my freedom to play safely in my own
yard. Good luck to you.
I have two dogs and a 5 mo. old child. I know dogs and you are
right to be concerned. You need to do whatever you have to to
get your neighbors to keep their dog away from your child.
Ideally, this dog needs to learn that you and your child are
alpha (i.e. head of the pack). You would need your neighbors
consistent support to make this happen. Clearly your neighbors
do not get it and this puts you and your child at risk. You may
want to consider calling the police or animal control if you see
the dog loose again- you have been more than fair to your
neighbors and now you need to do what's best for you and your
kid. This is a really hard situation- hang in there.
Concerned friend of kids and dogs
The dog you are describing is aggressive. That is normal dog
behavior but not appropriate. I don't want to scare you but I
would ask your neighbor to put the dog on a leash at all times
in the front yard and if they do not comply then call animal
control. This sounds harsh but this dog is not controlled by
its owners and that is a dangerous situation.
For the back yard I would put up whatever kind of shrubs you
can to give you privacy/safety. You can't really ask the
neighbor to leash him in his own back yard. Do not ever let
your child play near the dog...even if you are there. I would
avoid the dog at all costs. The thing that scares me the most
is that the neighbor seems to not be aware or capable of
controlling the dog. I have had dogs all of my life and if I
had one like the one you describe (and I have in the past) I
would keep him away from children and get a qualified trainer
to help with aggression.
Report the dog TODAY. I am a dog owner of a dog that is shy
with strangers. Never has our dog done ANY of the things this
dog has done. This sounds like an aggresive dog. I would go
to your local animal control and tell them the whole story,
start to finish. Having never reported to animal control I am
not sure what they will do, but I would want them to, at a
minimum, talk to the dog owner and evaluate the dog. Sounds
bad to me, I'm sorry to say.
Concerned dog owner
What is not okay (and shouldn't be typical) is your neighbor's attitude
behaviour, and it sounds to me like it is time to drop the idea of
relations with them- they have failed to do so themselves.
There is absolutely no excuse for them letting the dog off leash in the
where it can cross the property line and threaten (and/or attack) you.
according to Nolo Press section (http://www.nolo.com/) on dog law, the
laws do not
mandate any particular arrangements among condominium owners, you have
look to the CCRI's which you say do address that issue.
In the back yard separated by a fence, they do have a right to keep a
dog of any
temperment, but ordinances cover barking problems. If you can make the
solid enough that your child cannot put his hand through, that would be
solution. A cheap way to do this is to attach rolled bamboo fencing
carry it) to your side- quicker than waiting for a vine to grow.
My suggestion is to write a letter documenting the problem occurances,
send it to
your homeowners association, and copy it to your neighbor. It does not
they can be counted on to keep the dog on leash in the front, and the
may have something to say about the situation in the back also.
My own preference in your situation (as a dog lover) would be to make
barrier in the back solid enough to assure your safety rather than the
dog having to
be chained in the back yard. Many people do not provide sufficient
exercise for their
dogs (contributes a lot to aggression), and it is very sad to see a dog
live its life
chained up. Your neighbors do not deserve your compassion, but the dog
responsible for their lousy behaviour and he does.
I would report the dog to the authorities--you're far too
forgiving to your insensitive neighbors with a dangerous &
aggressive dog. The only way we got our neighbor down the
street to keep his dog behind the fence was to report when he
was out. and another neighbor reported that her dog was bit
through the fence. (Oakland) dog control went out and talked to
the neighbor, making it clear that he could lose his dog if he
didn't keep it under control. I think you've been more patient
than I would have--I just kept thinking what that dog could do
to my baby, and thought I'd never forgive myself if I let it
As a dog owner and a mother of a toddler I have just a couple of things
to say... My
dog is well behaved and nearly 11, she is off leash in my presence in
our yards front
and back. After saying this I want to be very clear that no matter how
''good'' a dog
may be it is essential to remember that they are animals with instincts
themselves, their territory and their people, One should never trust
around small children. Saying that, my Toddler has learned and learns
every day to
be gentle, not to approach a dog she doesn't know without holding my
hand, not to
go near a dog when they are eating or in your case with a bone in it
approach from the side and never put your face in a dogs face. My dog
is a chow
mix and has growled and snapped at kids who run up to her or try to
This is totally natural defensive behavior. I think it is really
important to teach kids
an appropriate way to act around dogs for everyones safety. Your
sounds a little aggressive but not dangerous. I imagine it could help
matters to have
a better introduction between dog and kids- no bones or toys present
gentle voices and hands, the dog may then become used to your kids and
aggression. I also think it was good of you not to report the
your neighbors will work with you on this. Also, often dogs can be more
when restrained with a leash.
Just some thoughts- good luck
dog and child lover
I've had a lot of dogs, but I don't consider myself an expert.
So, the best thiung to do is to talk to an expert. Paul Klein
trains dogs at Berkeley Humane, they can probably get you
in touch with him. He is very experienced. IMHO, since this
dog has been allowed to run around off leash, he is unclear
as to exactly where his territory ends. Nor have his owners
been responsible in training him to understand it. Be aware
that small children
can be interpreted as prey by dogs, especially large dogs.
Dogs can be dangerous toward people who are not their
owners, who they are loyal to and will protect, whether the
threat is real or not. Your fear is not overreacting and you do
need to get this situation under control. It is unfortunate that
you have to deal with dog owners who are not responsible
enough to get adequate training for their pet. Talk to Paul,
he will give you good advice.
We had a similar problem with next door neighbors. Big dog off
the leash, and 2 little kids. We called the police and they told
us to call Animal Control. They will come out and take the dog
away if the dog wanders into your yard. Stop being nice, and be
aggressive about the safety of your kids. I would rather have my
kids safe than have a good relationship with the neighbor but
have my kids at risk. Obviously, your neighbors don't get it,
and it's up to you to make sure that they do.
we have three dogs and a child. your neighbor's dog is acting very
possessive perhaps of his own territory and sees you and your baby as
a threat. you've mentioned this to your neighbors already and they
themselves have witnessed it. even though they may seem upset at
having to tie their dogs up in the front yard when the dogs are
they should realize that they are THIS CLOSE to having their dogs taken
away by animal control because the dog(s) is exhibiting aggression
towards human beings and they as owners aren't always taking
precautions against it.
Dog-on-dog aggression is normal and fine in dogs, but dog-on-human
aggression is NOT fine, if it cannot be corrected. This is dangerous
behavior; and this is the kind of dogs that need to be put to sleep. I
not saying that your neighbor's dog is such a dog, but they should be
taking more active steps in curbing/teaching their dogs not to be
aggressive towards people in general and you in particular. if they
correct the behavior, then they need to seriously make sure they can
keep their dogs in control at all times, whether on their property or
outside of their property.
as to the dogs being aggressive by your fenceline - your neighbors have
a right to do whatever they want on their side of the property and so
their dogs, even if the dogs are barking and lunging on their side of
fence towards you. HOWEVER, they are responsible for having a
SECURE fence, because once those dogs get out of their area and into
yours, then they are responsible for any damage that their dogs do.
if you don't feel comfortable being in the backyard with the kids, i
tell the neigbors so and make them understand that the fence has got to
be secure enough for their dogs. other than that, you can't really
them just because the dogs are acting territorial in their own backyard
and property. (oh, and for sure make them realize the dogs have to be
leashed/tied in the front yard as well).
this goes without saying, be responsible parents and don't leave your
children out of sight, esp. when they are in the front yard and the
are also in their front yard.
This dog is acting aggressively toward you and your child! I can
say that because I am the former owner of a dominant, alpha dog,
obedience-trained, agility-trained, smart-as-a-whip but meaner-
than-hell neutered 80 lb. male dog that we we finally had to put
down after 8 years of working with him because of recalcitrant
aggressive behavior, especially toward children and small dogs.
It took us so long because we really loved the dog who was sweet
with us, but we ALWAYS had him on leash and never allowed him
outside alone or near children off leash. As much as you don't
want to confront your neighbor, you need to do it for your kid's
safety. Your neighbor is acting very irresponsibly and I can't
believe that his dog has never had another run-in with others in
the neighborhood: dogs don't just act that way overnight. Are
there other neighbors who have had bad encounters with the dog
or could act as witnesses so that you are not the only ''bad
guy?'' Too often, owners don't want to admit to the fact that
their dogs a capable of doing serious harm, but it is time for a
wakeup call. A dog that large can easily permanently injure an
adult, not to mention how terribly he could injure a child. And
that fact that the dog is coming onto your property to harrass
you is just awful. I love dogs, but this could be very dangerous
to your family. Call the animal control for your county, and
explain the situation and find out what recourse you have now
that you have asked the owner several times to obey the law in
terms of the dog. Then, contact your neighborhood or homeowners
association to find out what their position is. Don't wait, the
owner is not doing what he should, and a dog attack can happen
in the blink of an eye and you need to protect your child. There
are too many signs that the dog is giving to think that his
problem behavior is just going to go away. Once you have a plan,
know your rights, have the backing of others and something in
writing, go and talk to the neighbor with another adult or
adults there to support you. Don't let the neighbor bully you
like his dog! The law is on your side, especially with the
heightened awareness of dog attacks in the Bay Area.
Former owner of a sweet but aggressive dog
It doesn't matter whether the dog's behavior is typical or not:
it is obviously and manifestly dangerous. I own two dogs but I
firmly believe that your child's safety is vastly more important
than some dog's ability to roam free and menace you. If you
cannot physically isolate the dog from your child by improving or
adding fencing, you may want to explore mediation or legal
action. The book Neighbor Law by Nolo Press is a good place to
start. It is probably available at your local library.
The behavior of your neighbor's dog is not typical and should
not be tolerated! Your child is definitely in danger with your
current situation, and you need to act now to prevent a
tragedy. The dog is agressive and potentially very dangerous
to your toddler. You have several options, and I hope you will
pursue them both. The first is to contact Contra Costa Animal
Control (call info-they are in Martinez) and report that your
neighbor has an agressive dog that is allowed to roam at
large. This is against the law. I urge you to call and report
it every time you see the dog loose. You should also make a
complaint to your HOA since it is against their rules. I don't
know how much they can help you, but it is worth a try. Any
knowledgeable dog trainer will agree this dog is potentially
very dangerous to your toddler, who would be defenseless
against a dog attack. Please act today to safeguard your
child's safety. You would never forgive yourself if a tragic
incident were to occur. p.s. Maybe if you remind your
neighbors what a huge (financial) liability their dog is they
will keep it in, but I doubt it.
-Concerned dog lover and toddler mom
Does anyone have any experience or advice about
Alameda County's animal control office? There is an
aggressive dog who lives in my neighborhood and I've
contacted animal control on several occasions and
haven't gotten anywhere with them. I am repeatedly
told I'll be called back but it hasn't happened. When
I have recontacted them about these incidents I'm told
that someone has contacted the owner but every time I
walk by this house this very large doberman continues
to come running out into the street barking and
growling at me. On the one occasion that I did get
the owner to call him off, the dog ignored the owner
and trotted farther down the street. Since I enjoy
taking walks in my neighborhood with my daughter I
find this whole situation scary and frustrating.
We're currently staying inside until we can be assured
that this dog won't confront us anymore. Any advice
on what to do would be appreciated.
Call animal control and tell them you are so scared you are thinking about
shooting the dog. It worked for us. Maybe you don't want to tell them who you
are, and hang up before they trace the call (just kidding!).
Do you live in Berkeley? If so, call the Berkeley
Police to report an aggressive dog. I've found this
is very effective. (Dog we dealt with was put
on "house arrest" for 10 days and his owners are
more careful now.)
You don't say where you live. Since you mention calling Alameda County
Animal Control, I am guessing you live in an unincorporated area. If
Animal Control is being unresponsive, I suggest you go up the hierarchy
of county government. Alameda County is run by a Board of Supervisors,
so you would call the supervisors office and find out who to contact (my
Oakland phone book doesn't list a number for the supervisors' office, but
there is a general county information number, 272-6399). Plan to make a
real nuisance of yourself--write letters, and follow up with phone calls.
Also--and this is very important--you must keep a written log of every
incident, including date, time, names (or description of dog or person if
you don't have names) and a brief factual description of what happened.
It's surprising how easy it is to decide not to bother with this; but the
information in a well-maintained log is crucial.
We are currently dealing with an aggressive-dog-irresponsible-owner
situation in my neighborhood. The city has been very responsive, and
Animal Control is doing what they can; but getting real change in this
kind of situation is slow and calls for persistence. We are finally to
the point where the neighbor's dogs are impounded until he does the
necessary things to keep them confined and gets insurance. If you live
in Berkeley, I can give you some specific information about getting the
city to deal with aggressive dogs.
Someone told me that a neighbor sent a letter to the Supervisor of the
district, with the head of animal control's name c.c.'d as well as the
head of the local sherriff's office, etc.... I think the idea was that
the bureaucrats become afraid of liability and fianlly follow-up.
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