- June 18, 2014
The Board has received multiple calls and emails regarding dogs not being on leashes, invisible fences, and dogs bum rushing fences and invisible fence lines. Truly the best thing for us all to do is have a kind conversation with the pet owner first. If problems continue to exist, please contact the Humane Society. These issues fall within the local government and the Homeowners Association cannot enforce the law or city ordinances.
Because of the number of calls I have received, I contacted the Humane Society and spoke to Jill Moss, the Ordinance Administrator, for some clarification regarding these laws. These are not my personal views nor the Boards.
Invisible Fences: If a dog breaks their invisible fence barrier and leaves the property, the homeowner is liable for restraint violation. Invisible fencing does not protect the owner's dog from another dog or anything coming onto their property and the property owner could still be liable for restraint and damages even though their dog is still on their property. Invisible fencing doesn't protect a child who wanders into a yard with a dog that may not like kids. The Humane Society does not recognize invisible fences as true barriers for dogs.
Bum Rushing Fences: Dogs that bum rush their invisible fence lines/chain link fences/6' privacy fences, bark aggressively at walkers, dog fights that occur on properties with invisible fences and who is liable was one of the biggest areas of concern, especially to horse riders or parents with small children going for walks. To say the least, I was surprised by some of Jill’s answers.
Menacing behavior includes dogs bum rushing fence lines, barking, growling, and acting aggressively at riders or walkers and can get a citation with mandatory court. Horses riding by your property can easily get spooked and the rider is in danger of being very hurt or worse. Homeowners could be sued and be held financially responsible.
Dogs off Leashes: The Leash Law requires all dogs to be on leashes at all times when not restrained within the owners home or properly fenced in property. There are people who have had life changing experiences with animals and are really frightened of dogs. I'm sure your pets are kind and sweet and would never hurt a fly, but to the person on the other end who has a true fear, it doesn't matter. They are scared.
If you have a problem with a neighbor’s dog, please, please, please try to have a kind conversation with them first. They might not realize there is a problem until you bring it to their attention. If you cannot resolve it with them, then please call the Humane Society.
If you have specific questions about any of these issues or about city law or ordinances, please call Jill at the Humane Society at 444-7800 ext 317. She is the expert and will be able to answer your questions. The Humane Society has a Behavior Hotline for obedience or problems relating to their dogs and might be able to help at 402-444-7800 Ext. 221. They will need to leave their information and a specialist will call back. NHS also offers a variety of classes from basic obedience to classes relating to grouchy dog problems.