Pets have never been more popular in American life than they are today. In terms of pet problems, dogs (with cats in second place) are one of the biggest causes of disagreements between neighbors. The following FAQ section will help you address problems with your neighbor's dog if it changes from man's best friend to your worst enemy.

My neighbor's dog bit me yesterday while I was watering my lawn. What should I do?

A pet's owner is usually liable for the injuries or other havoc (damaged fences, destroyed garden) it may cause-especially if it was unleashed and you did nothing to provoke it. Do the following to address the issue:

  • If the bite is serious and you require medical attention, you may want to file a police report (especially if the dog has a history of dangerous behavior).
  • Talk to your neighbor about the dog and ask to be compensated for your injuries (also ask them to make sure that the dog is leashed or kept in its yard in the future).
  • If your neighbor is uncooperative and the dog is still running wild, do the following: 1) report the dog and its owner to your local department of animal control, and 2) take your neighbor to small claims court to address the problem.

My neighbor's dogs and cats seem to have free run of all the common areas in our condo. Is there anything that we can do about this?

Each condo is different, so you will need to check the rules (known as Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) that govern your particular condo for more information.

My neighbor walks his dog without a leash. Should he be following leash laws?

Leash laws exist in many towns and cities in the United States. So, if a leash law exists in your town, your neighbor is violating the law. Check your town's ordinances for more information about leash laws and other pet-related issues.

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