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Subject: Nuisance Dog
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Author Messages
TamaraR1
(Georgia)

Posts:4


04/20/2021 1:01 AM  
There is a dog that has been roaming loose around our condo community for several weeks now. It barks, chases cars, poops in yards, etc. Problem is, it doesn’t belong to anyone who lives in our community, but instead to someone living in a nearby trailer park who just allows the dog to roam around freely. Our community has a fence around most of its perimeter, but not continuously. There are places where the dog can easily wander in, which it does with monotonous regularity. Our board is being notified by one of our homeowners that she has experienced the dog barking at her outside her car door when she pulls up into her driveway, trapping her inside because she is very afraid of dogs. Is this a problem the HOA should be expected to solve since the dog does not belong to one of our own homeowners who are subject to HOA rules regarding keeping dogs on a leash and under control? Or should this or other homeowners solve this themselves?
TimB4
(Tennessee)

Posts:17841


04/20/2021 1:39 AM  
In my opinion, it's something the homeowner should resolve on their own.
If I were on your board, I would inform the owner to contact the local humane society (I'd even look up the number for them).


If the board were to get involved, the extent of their involvement should be:
a) contact the humane society.
b) Notify residents to contact the humane society when they see the dog.

Note: The Humane society has far more authority over this issue then the HOA.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2588


04/20/2021 5:22 AM  
Our local municipality has a leash law, so if your community does as well, a complaint to the correct department would be the place to start.

An HOA has no power to fine the owner or catch the dog or do anything useful, so that's a non-starter. At best the board would complain to the same department - if the local animal control officer gets multiple complaints about the same dog, they'll be more likely to take action.
ND
(PA)

Posts:637


04/20/2021 5:56 AM  
While this is an issue that the HOA/Board can easily claim they have no responsibility for, I see no problem with the HOA/Board attempting to do as Tim suggested and at least reach out to appropriate authorities on behalf of all residents (since impact is potentially widespread) as well as provide resources back to the residents so they may do the same.

The HOA/Board is aware of many more occurrences of the dog issue than individual residents are. That is significantly more "evidence" that can be provided to authorities who can properly deal with the dog. At every sighting of the dog, I would notify authorities. Eventually the dog will be picked up or the owner held responsible. Not too much else you can do.

I suggest reaching out to the Humane Society, Animal Control, SPCA, and any other Animal Agencies in your area (use Google) as well as the police (non-emergency number) to try and get you to the right organization who should ultimately take care of things.
AugustinD


Posts:1905


04/20/2021 7:09 AM  
-- I think the quickest solution by far is to call the city or county's 'animal control' department (if it exists). Photos of the dog may help.

-- I think the HOA technically does have responsibility for ensuring the common areas are safe. So if the Board were informed of this roaming dog, with a proper complaint about the common areas not being safe and photos of the dog on the common areas, and someone got bit, then in my opinion the HOA might very well end up being held liable. The Board should take action, but an honorable Owner will, on her or his own, contact the city or county's animal control department.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


04/20/2021 9:53 AM  
I agree with Augustin & others. This dog is potential hazard to residents. The Board is aware of this hazard. Just like seriously cracked sidewalks, loose tree limbs, poor exterior lighting, or other potential hazards, I think the HOA could be liable if the dog injures someone on the HOA premises.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2588


04/20/2021 10:13 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 04/20/2021 9:53 AM
I agree with Augustin & others. This dog is potential hazard to residents. The Board is aware of this hazard. Just like seriously cracked sidewalks, loose tree limbs, poor exterior lighting, or other potential hazards, I think the HOA could be liable if the dog injures someone on the HOA premises.




The problem I see is that the HOA's ability to fix this (legally) is limited. They have the ability to fix cracked sidewalks and all the other stuff, but what can they do to keep a dog off their property? At best they can inform others such as the animal control department, but they rely on someone else to do their job. And even if animal control does their thing, a non-compliant owner will mean that the dog will continue to roam no matter how many fines or citations the owner receives (we actually had such an issue in my community).

This situation is different from an HOA member who lets their dog run. That person is bound by the CC&Rs as well as local leash laws, the HOA can take action directly against the owner, and if the CC&Rs allow, the HOA may remove a nuisance animal from the community.

I think the HOA should at least warn homeowners that there is a nuisance animal in the community, that they've notified animal control, but that the HOA can't (legally) prevent the dog from getting onto HOA property.

(Our problem was solved when the dog died. No comment on whether it died naturally or was helped along the way by non-legal methods...)
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1104


04/20/2021 5:28 PM  
I think this is beyond the HOA's control and they should not get involved. Yes, they could call animal control for the owners but that could create problems. For one, animal control would rather hear from the complainant who sees the dog, not a third party who doesn't have all the information. If they decide to charge the owner, you can't go to court and testify to hearsay. Another problem is that if someone doesn't want to be bothered calling themselves, they will likely not call right away or they will send an email. Call animal control and tell them that you were informed that a dog was running loose 30 minutes ago and they will probably tell you to call back when you see the dog.

Sometimes it's better to just be honest with what you can and can't do.
AugustinD


Posts:1905


04/20/2021 6:31 PM  
Posted By BenA2 on 04/20/2021 5:28 PM
Sometimes it's better to just be honest with what you can and can't do.
Or what one should and shouldn't attempt.

I think it's often the non-attempt that will hurt a HOA.
MarshallT
(New York)

Posts:179


04/22/2021 5:41 AM  
Unfortunately, this is an issue that homeowners will need to resolve. The board could try and speak to the owner, but I am doubtful this will do much good.

You can tell homeowners that they should reach out to the local humane society to resolve this issue.
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