Neighbors' pit bulls jumping on me and shitting in my yard
June 23, 2014 8:51 PM Subscribe
I live alone in the basement apartment of a row house in a large city; there are four people in the apartment upstairs who moved in fairly recently. We share a small, fenced-in yard, and the layout is such that it is my only entrance, while it is their backyard. With them came their two dogs, pit bulls, whom they allow to run loose in the yard.
posted by picardythird to Human Relations (44 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My landlord did not find out about the dogs until after the neighbors moved in and was pretty pissed when he found out (from his landscaper complaining about the poop). He (my landlord) told me he was modifying their lease to provide for poop pickup and not allowing the dogs out in the yard unattended.
At first I only minded the shit everywhere. I talked to my neighbors about it, and it went from not getting picked up for over a week at a time to maybe every few days so...progress? I have complained to my landlord too and I know he's talked to them about it.
I also felt (still feel) bad for the poor dogs, they seem like nice enough dogs but I don't think they are getting the care they need. I am almost certain they are never getting walked (they don't have collars and I've never seen them on a leash).
One of the dogs is aggressively playful and will run up to you and jump on you (you know when dogs will stand up and put his front legs on your chest?)--he has done this to me and my guests, and even if his owner is there the owner does nothing to stop him. I told my neighbor I didn't like the dog doing that and he just said "sorry" and whacked the dog on the butt, which sent the dog scurrying away.
This was generally just a small irritation to me until recently, when I saw the news story about the little girl who had been mauled by pitt bulls and was told to leave a KFC because of her appearance. It led me to research the "are pit bulls actually dangerous?" question and I was not pleased with what I found. (I'm talking Wikipedia, not the horror story websites.) I know it sounds silly that it had never actually occurred to me that this much-maligned breed might actually be more dangerous than other dogs, because I've never been afraid of dogs and had heard the "there's no bad breeds, only bad owners" thing. (But these are not good owners!)
So last week, I emailed my landlord about the situation, and asked if he could require the dogs be on a leash when they are outside (as simply having the owner present does nothing to control them). He said he was taking this very seriously, would talk to them and send them an official letter, and keep me updated. I believe he is taking it seriously.
Anyway. Tonight I got home, the neighbors' back door was wide open, and one of the dogs was unattended in the yard. I asked them from the gate to please bring the dog inside. They called him in, said they "didn't know" he was out.
I just don't know what to do about this at this point. Do I think the dogs are waiting to kill me when I take out the trash? No, of course not, but I don't think they are well cared for and, well, they are very powerful dogs that can cause real injury if they get spooked or something.
I am annoyed but simultaneously feel like I'm overreacting/being a wuss--and I'm sure the neighbors already think I'm an uptight, antisocial weirdo. Maybe I should wait it out. I am moving in August...I can continue checking the yard before I enter it to avoid the dogs, I guess. I am also stressed out by confrontation...
What should I do? Is there anything I can do?