Question: “a Dangerous Dog Terrorizes My Neighborhood! What Can I Do to Stop It?”

dog open mouth

Here are some powerful, effective things that you can do to take a vicious dog off the streets:

Write a letter to animal control, the head of it. Make it very brief but mention everything about those pit bulls. Demand that the owners be cited and that the dogs be confiscated permanently because of how they have acted and how irresponsible the dog owners are.

Keep a fire extinguisher by the back door and another by the front door. If the pit bulls threaten you to the point that you reasonably feel they could harm you or a family member, spray them with the contents of the fire extinguisher (rather than shoot them or stab them or hit them with a blunt object).

Video everything bad that the pit bulls do. No talking during the video except to state the date, time and location.

If it gets to the point that people are afraid to go out onto the street, organize the neighbors to retain a lawyer for the purpose of bringing a nuisance lawsuit against the dog owners. The legal fees are expensive for ordinary people; they will go into the tens of thousands of dollars for the group but also for the dog owners. If you get a court order as a result of the lawsuit, the dog owners will possibly go to jail if the pit bulls get out again.

Write letters to your city and county lawmakers, representatives and law enforcement officials — mayor, county supervisor of your area, city councilperson, police chief, sheriff. Make it very concise: there are vicious pit bulls living near you, they already have injured or killed at least one dog, they run loose through the neighborhood, you and your neighbors fear for your lives and the lives of your children, animal control officers are unwilling or unable to deal with these dogs and their owners, someone is going to be killed, the city / county / agency is going to be held responsible. Copy everyone else on each letter, including the head of animal control.

If the owners of the vicious dog are tenants, send a letter to the owner or management company of the property where the dog owners live. Tell them the dog did such-and-such on a specific date (or dates), and that they (the property owners or management company) will be held liable if they fail to evict the tenant or ensure that the dog is confined properly. Send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, and of course keep a copy of it.

Use the small claims court to make the wrongdoer pay for damage caused to other dogs. I have written a book entitled When a Dog Is Injured Or Killed. It’s a self-help book for dog owners whose companions have been wrongfully harmed, whether by dangerous dogs, negligent animal control officers, vicious neighbors, the malpractice of a veterinarian, or any other way. Without having to retain an attorney, you will be able to secure justice for their pets and themselves. The book contains legal advice, the strategies that I use in my own cases, and prewritten letters and forms for getting compensated in or out of court. The book is inexpensive and easy to use. Click here to find out how to buy it.

Continue being the squeaky wheel. Write more letters. Appear at meetings. Make phone calls.

Document everything you do. It will help you when you write subsequent letters and speak to officials. It also will make good evidence if something terrible happens.