How to cope with a bad pet neighbor – Part 1

How to cope with a bad pet neighbor

If you have pets then chances are that sooner or later you may have a bad pet neighbor. Whether it’s the neighbor who can’t tolerate your pets or the neighbor who treats his own pets in a questionable manner, you can be in for trouble.

There are two basic kinds of bad pet neighbor. One kind is the neighbor who has pets himself and mistreats them in some way. If there is actual cruelty involved you will need to contact your local animal control. But please keep in mind that there is sometimes a gray area where animal care is concerned. You and your neighbor may have differing ideas about what constitutes good animal care. If you have doubts your animal control authority can resolve the issue based on the legal statutes in your state. However, please keep in mind that calling animal control on your neighbor is likely to sour your relationship for the foreseeable future. It’s hard to return from that brink. If you have pets you could be putting them at risk if you call animal control on a neighbor who will hold a grudge. Think carefully before you call animal control and make sure there is genuine abuse involved. There are many cases where people are reported for abuse when it’s actually a case of a simple disagreement about how animals should be cared for. Not everyone cares for animals in the same way. A Saluki or Afghan Hound, for instance, is supposed to be a slim dog, yet there have been cases where their owners were reported for keeping them underweight when such was not the case.

Sometimes you can talk to a neighbor if you have concerns about their pets. If you take this approach you should try to be diplomatic and not judgmental. Be willing to listen to what your neighbor says. You may want to document your conversation afterwards in case you are later asked for information about it. Please keep in mind how you would feel if a neighbor approached you to talk to you about how you take care of your pets. Act with tact.

You may have a bad pet neighbor who has dogs who howl all night or who lets his animals run loose. In this case, again, talking may be the best approach. If that fails, try asking yourself if your own pets ever do anything annoying. Does your neighbor put up with anything that your pets or family do? Do you have kids who have broken a window on the street or do you leave your garbage cans sitting at the road for days? Before calling in the authorities it’s best to see if you have a good reason to be tolerant. As a last resort you could contact animal control, but only as a last resort.

If you have the other sort of bad pet neighbor – the kind who complains about everything that your pets do – you may need to practice some patience. In reality, the law is generally on the side of the person making the complaint. It’s hard to prove a dog didn’t bark. Afterall, you can’t ask the dog. You will need to try to keep your pets from barking all night and certainly keep them contained. If your neighbor calls animal control and they pay you a visit make sure that your pets are up-to-date on their shots and licenses. Explain the situation and try to comply (within reason) with what is asked of you regarding your neighbor’s complaint.

It’s a good idea to ask yourself what kind of pet neighbor you are. Do you complain about your neighbors? Are you or your pets a problem in the neighborhood? Do your neighbors have reason to complain about you and your pets?

Remember that being a good pet neighbor and having good pet neighbors can depend a lot on good communication. Keep the lines of communication open and everyone can benefit, especially the pets.

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