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LOL! We use to use an inflatable fake owl on the side of the house for deterrent..I dont quite remember for what. But he had a name...Horace..and he was awesome!
Sorry but that stuffed shepherds face does look owl-ish around the eyes. lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
I talked with the lawyer, and he'll be looking into it for me, it's not even that expensive, but he's a friend of good friend.

I was passed by a car with out of state plates on the road today, a car I've seen before. It was coming fast behind me, so I got out my phone and filmed it as it went past. The car stopped about 20 feet past me and rolled down the window. I stood there filming and slapping at mosquitoes. I thought maybe they'd actually talk to me, which would be cool because I would love to just resolve this issue and communication goes a long way. But they stuck their phone out the window and started filming me. I said "didn't you say you were afraid the dogs would jump in through the window?" No response. Dogs are just standing there calmly. Good dogs.

Finally the car left and I finished my walk. I decided to call the police (police are animal control) and report the incident first, just in case they tried to claim my dogs chased the car or something else. I explained that I felt very vulnerable and we had a pretty long discussion. Anyway, police will go talk with them, and I have video proof if they claim the dogs did anything remotely "illegal".

I hate to go down this route, really, but I need to show I'm willing to defend myself and am paying attention. I have every right to use that public town-owned road, and I worked and work very hard to buy the house I chose in part because of access to the non-motorized portion of that road.

At the moment, I'm not going to pay that ticket. I'll see what my lawyer finds and go from there.

Advice to anyone else in this scenario is to talk to a good lawyer.

Hopefully this can be peacefully resolved as that is truly the end goal.
 

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It will be interesting to see what your lawyer says. Here, it is pretty simple and a lawyer would be overkill. I don't know what further ramifications would be there for you and your dogs should the neighbor persist. Simply contesting the charge by showing up and telling what happened will likely discourage any further complaints. Here I found the judge very fair (of course she ruled in my favor!) The court system was very familiar with the family, too. It was a pain in the butt because the fellow persisted and I needed to file several complaints, document everything, etc. Just the need to do all this is going to discourage your neighbor from filing more unfounded complaints.



BUT it is important to either pay the citation or contest it. Don't ignore it.




BTW I love the "creepy" dog. I have a funny story about life size, relatively realistic stuffed dogs.
not for this thread but hey...
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Jax- you are right. Commenting certainly won't de-escalate the situation. The filming also didn't help, but I wanted to make sure there could be no false complaints this time around.

I really do wish we could just have a conversation and resolve this whole thing. But I have tried and it was a waste of time and I'm not sure I could keep my cool through another conversation like that.

I'd always give the advice to communicate with neighbors first, before bringing in others- because that is by far the best solution. Unfortunately in this scenario, that ship has sailed.
 

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Yes don't be so obvious with the camera; what did he say about filming? The advice I was given by the polic concerning my neighbor was to not say a word to her even if she said something and, yes, the camera needs to be made less conspicuous.

I agree with your sentiment on communicating and feel so much could be resolve through just talking but some folks just don't roll that way.
 

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Yeah I would avoid this neighbor like the plague until things are settled. They can purposely start trouble with the dogs and video that. Good ideas suggested earlier about walking in town around people or far away from this person. You never no who your dealing with.
 

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I'd like a go pro anyway for training, so I will look into getting an older model- I don't need the newest and absolute best.

Also, I thought about buying this creepy dog and sitting him at the edge of my property looking toward the road. Honestly, it will be useful as a dog training aid anyway, and it's not super pricey.

Creepy though!

https://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Doug-Giant-German-Shepherd/dp/B0006IRT78/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=life+size+german+shepherd&qid=1561056666&s=gateway&sr=8-2#customerReviews

If only this one was weatherproof....

German Shepherd Dog Life-Size Statue
 

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You are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. But sometimes it doesn't work like that. If you have to take off of work, then there's $50 right there. Pay the ticket. If you can plead "no contest" then you are not actually agreeing to being wrong, but not fighting it, because it will cost you too much to do so.

On the other hand, what is stopping him from doing this once a week? He is wasting the court's time and the police time for non-events. There is absolutely NO way to prove a non-event. So, it becomes his word against yours. You cannot video-tape, because, he can say that it happened when you weren't videotaping. This is why the burden of proof is on the accuser, not the accused.

If it comes down to he said, you said, and the dog has been ticketed on multiple occasions, then that might play into it in the absence of proof. So yeah, if you can, fight it. And if the yayhoo is working, then he will have to miss work to go to court over this. I think. I don't think that only the officer would have to go. Maybe. I think what would happen, is that you would go to court, and they would set a court date, at which time the officer and the accuser would have to be present. But I could be all wet.

It seems with animals, due process sometimes doesn't happen. Like, animal control can come in and take your dogs. It is easier for them to remove dogs that are possibly being abused or neglected than it is for them to take children out of abusive/neglective situations. If your GSD is on leash, properly licensed and vaccinated, and a Yorkie-mix runs up to it, barking, and your dog bites it, which kills it, then there should be no question, one dog owner was following the law, one was not, but we can't guaranty anything when it comes to critters.

Fight it if you can. Take a hit for dog owners everywhere. Either way, I think you lose.
 

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The justification I see for filming is documenting. Documenting goes a long way. People will lie in court so having photographs/films will bolster your case. The reason for contesting this is that the OP maintains the charge is unsubstantiated. This neighbor seems to be a bit of a PIA and may continue to bring allegations unless he is shut down. I would not want unwarranted allegations on my record.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Update as of today.

Last week I was jogging down the road with my dogs and the "neighbor" as usual comes flying down the road- which is about 1/4 all downhill - steep with poor sightlines. I panic a bit and run with my dogs off the road and halfway up the embankment. The loose gravel/sand is slippery and steep and I end up falling on the gravel and getting some bad road rash, but at least avoiding the vehicle.

I took photos of the injuries but didn't call the police. I was sore for several days.

It's a lose lose for me no matter what I do- the neighbor has the power. And he's flouting it. Call the police- sure they'll come out and I'll have to spend an hour of my morning talking with them instead of going to work. Then the police will go have a chat with "Bo" and nothing will happen except Bo will feel more empowered next time.

If I don't run off the road I am risking severe injury or death to me and my dogs. And while Bo would hopefully get arrested for this- dogs are "just" property and if he killed a dog, he's probably get off completely. If he injured or killed me, well, I still lose big time! Even if he goes to prison for years. If I'm badly hurt- or killed- that won't help me.

It's a super frustrating situation.

While buying a bodycam seems really extreme, and I don't have a ton of extra cash, it is necessary at this juncture. I am also avoiding the road for now until I can get that bodycam.

This is small town policing at it's worst, unfortunately. Having dogs makes me vulnerable to harassment. And having German shepherds is a big part of it. Bo complained to the police that my dogs were running on his property this winter. I told the police that there was no way the tracks were from my dogs, and they did some "investigation" and discovered it was another neighbor's golden retriever and lab. This happened TWICE until they investigated. No tickets for the other neighbor. Lots of threats from the police about giving me a dog at large ticket. But, you know, golden retrievers. No apologies, either from Bo or police. Of course.

Anyway.

As for the ticket- my choices are go to court and have to deal with time off work and stress. Or pay $50. I talked to my lawyer and if you pay the ticket the language of the statute says payment means you are NOT admitting guilt. It's a "civil forfeiture". My lawyer is going to make some calls and see if he can figure out what this really means.

I'm just so frustrated. Imagine if my dogs had cause the bruising and scrapes I got from scrambling out of his way. You can just imagine he'd have all our heads. Makes me super angry to think about it too much so I try not to dwell there. Dog laws are quite skewed against dog owners if you do some research.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Update:

The good news is there has been no further contact or incidents with this neighbor.

The bad news is I have about a week to pay the fine or it goes to court so it is decision time.

I was able to get the name of the complainant and see the complaint. It was hysterical- as in not "ha ha funny" but as in crazy. Tons of emotion, hyperbole, and outright lies. I think I would stand a decent chance if this went to court, because she's hardly be considered a reliable witness but the stress and time off work, is more than likely not worth it. This whole thing has consumed so much emotional energy as it is...

I do want to make sure that MY written statement is added to the file. Then I will likely pay the fine- because it is not an admission of guilt to do so, it simply means I waived the right to a trial- and be done with the whole thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
You make a good point. I have until next Friday. The lawyer I talked to advised I pay it. The cop that I originally dealt with is out on medical leave for an undefined period. There is a new officer in charge who seemed astonished I would even consider fighting such a minor charge in court.

But none of these people are dog people, or understand the investment I've put into my animals and how much this matters to me.

I just don't know.
 

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I've been following your thread and cheering you on silently.
It's quite the dilemma to decide just to pay the fine and hopefully be done with it,or go through the aggravation of the legal system.Wishing for the best outcome for you.
 

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I'm not sure how much I would let a cop that is not a dog person, influence my decision on fighting a false charge against my dog.

Not sure I would trust a lawyer either, being as they are trained from a young age how to lie and influence. LOL!

Sounds like neither of them want to deal with it and that is why they are trying to talk you out of it.

I would fight it. I think you would easily win. You sound like a good person. Calm, cool and collected. When you are in front of a judge, they see that. They will also see the other guy is a loon. He may not even show up, and you would win by default.

Write down everything, keep a journal and be respectful to the judge. You will be out of there in no time.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Does anyone know if a CGC and/or proof of dog sports titles ever count towards proof of dog character in a case like this?

It's super stressful, though. I figure if I pay it, it is done and over- no more wasted energy fretting over this. The neighbor owes over $8,000 in unpaid property taxes, he can't just stay there forever, one would think?!
 

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I'm not sure I would pay it. There is no guarantee that your statement would be included in the file. I listen to the animal control board podcast here and I've learned that bringing evidence is very important. Don't use information on your phone. Print all photos. Email in advance any videos. Have dates and details written down. Just recently I heard a case where the board made a decision on what neighbors said without hard evidence. They accepted their statements as fact because the owner did not dispute it. I guess then it was true, but I was surprised that they people complaining didn't have any but their story to tell. That led to a "pattern of behavior" that became the basis for an additional fine. Take the time to stand up for yourself and your dog. In a perfect world you shouldn't have to, but we have to.
 
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