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What Can I Do if a Neighbor Lets Their Dog Wander in My Yard?

 Posted on September 14,2022 in Civil Litigation

Glen Ellyn Neighbor Dispute LawyerNeighbors can be a blessing, but they can also be a major hassle to deal with. Even in some of the more rural areas of Illinois, most people have neighbors who live close enough to impact them with their behavior, and this is certainly true in densely populated areas. One subject on which people regularly disagree with the behavior of their neighbors is that of pets and other animals, especially dogs. A well-trained dog may be a man’s best friend, but a neighbor’s dog that is allowed to wander and harass neighboring people and property can present a major challenge. If you are struggling with a neighbor dispute over someone who lets their dog wander onto your yard, you may be able to take legal action. 

Should I Call the Police if a Neighbor’s Dog is in My Yard? 

A wandering dog may do no more harm than leave an unpleasant surprise on the bottom of your shoe. But when a dog presents a threat to children, elderly adults, or livestock, the matter needs to be taken seriously. If you have not already, try to resolve the issue by talking to your neighbor. It is possible that they may not be aware of the problem and could be willing to take steps to control their dog. 

However, most reasonable people try this as their first course of action and find that talking to the wandering dog’s owner is ineffective as well as deeply unpleasant. The next course of action you may consider is involving the police or animal control. Illinois requires dogs in private yards to be fenced in properly and your neighbor may face fines for failing to control their dog. 

If this is still ineffective, or if the dog is something of an escape artist, it may be time to take legal action. This can begin with sending your neighbor a notice that you intend to take legal action if nothing changes. You may also want to consider a civil nuisance suit against your neighbor for allowing their dog to render the public insecure. But if a dog has already acted in ways that harm your person or property–such as attacking you, your child, or your livestock–you may want to file a civil suit for damages. 

What Can I Do if a Neighbor’s Dog is Harassing or Killing My Animals? 

Some dogs enjoy hunting and will pursue small and large animals whenever they get a chance. Even if a dog is not intent on hurting larger animals like horses and cattle, simply having a strange dog running amidst your livestock can cause them to scatter and panic, which can lead to serious injuries. If your neighbor’s dog is unaccompanied and is chasing, harassing, or killing your livestock or poultry, Illinois law allows you to kill the dog. While this may be an unsavory option for many people, sometimes taking the life of a dog is necessary to save the lives of other animals and protect valuable property. 

Contact a Wheaton, IL Neighbor Dispute Attorney

Sometimes a wandering dog is merely a nuisance, but at other times it can present a serious danger to children or elderly residents. If your neighbors are breaking the law, violating property boundaries, or otherwise acting against your legal interests, contact a DuPage County neighbor dispute attorney with NN Legal Group today. We offer free consultations so we can learn more about your case and explore your options, whether that be sending warning letters on your behalf, seeking mediation or arbitration, or pursuing litigation. Call us now at 630-474-0925




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