Visitor Question

My dogs attacked our neighbor’s dog that was on our property…

Submitted By: Angelica (Arizona)

My dogs (pit bulls) attacked my neighbor’s dog. He was on our property and our dogs attacked and chased him all the way back to the neighbor’s property. The neighbors are now threatening to shoot our dogs if they come onto their property and call the police.

Their dog is always out of his yard. He’s not mean but he’s always wandering the roads and passing into our property. Our dogs have never been mean to him before, but today they decided to attack. What do I do? Are we really liable if his dog comes onto our property? Thanks for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Angelica,

Speak with your neighbor and make clear you do not want their dog to come on to your property. Then follow up with a certified letter confirming your demand. When you speak with your neighbor, tell him or her you can not be responsible for injuries your dog may inflict upon their dog if their dog continues to trespass.

For legal purposes, trespass does not occur until such time as those people or their pets are notified by the owner of the property not to come onto the owner’s property. Notice can be by a clearly marked sign, by letter, or by verbal instructions.

Once the property owner makes clear he or she does not want certain people or their pets to come onto to the property, trespass will then occur if the people to whom the warning is directed ignore that warning and come upon the property.

Once your neighbor has been notified, then if their dog comes onto your property and your dog inflicts harm, you should not be liable for any injuries and resulting veterinarian costs your neighbor may have to pay.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 17, 2014

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