Roaming Pit Bull

I need advice. I've done everything I know to do. I have cats that I have a screen room and a cat house for them so they do not roam. A neighbor in my subdivision apparently has decided that his full grown pit bull should freely roam the neighborhood.

Twice in three days, this dog has been on my back deck trying to get at my cats. I called animal control who started the conversation by telling me that she had pit bulls, that pit bulls are misunderstood, that they get a bad rap. All of this may be true, but there is a leash law, and no large dog, in my opinion, should be allowed to freely roam the neighborhood.

I can't put my pets out into their enclosures and feel they are safe. I can't walk to my car and assume I'm safe. I talked to the neighbor who says it's a great dog, it's never bitten anyone, I wouldn't let it near my child if I thought it was a bad dog, etc. What are my rights (or do I have any) to live free from fear?

Gale's Reply:

The law is on your side in this instance. You say there is a leash law in your area. You need to find someone who is willing to enforce. it. Since the AC officer is letting her bias in favor of pit bulls cloud her judgement about doing her job, you may need to speak to her supervisor.

This isn't about breed--it's about a DOG that's being allowed to roam the neighborhood without consideration for the comfort and safety of other residents and their pets. It wouldn't matter if the dog were a Labrador or a poodle. Dogs that roam at large can become a health hazard and a menace. (Not to mention road kill.) You have every right to complain.

Personally, I think the owner is being both insensitive and irresponsible. It's people like him who give the rest of us pit bull owners a bad name.

I hope you are able to get this settled with your local authorities. In the meantime, keep your cats securely out of the dog's reach. As for your own safety, pit bulls are rarely human aggressive. Unless he's been mistreated or encouraged to be wary of strangers, he'd be more likely to lick you to death than anything else. Just use the same common sense you would around any dog you don't know.

Comments for Roaming Pit Bull

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Nov 08, 2011
so sorry
by: Darlene

I am so sorry to hear of your troubles with your neighbor,and that is what it is,the neighbor.My Pit has been raised with a cat,my old cat is 12 years old ,and thinks he is the proud father of my dog..Anyone who owns an animal should be responsible and care for their pets..Who ever this person is ,they should be ashamed of themselves.

Nov 08, 2011
dog can survive without a leash
by: Anonymous

just let the pitty roam and have fun. life is short

Nov 08, 2011
On behalf of your neighbor, I say, "I 'm sorry.
by: Anonymous

Roaming dogs get into to trouble. One common factor in almost every pit bull attack story I've heard is that the dog was running loose. I agree that the owner is being irresponsible and reckless. What this breed does not need is another story about a pit killing another cat/dog. This dog is probably not a danger to humans, but why risk it? Someone needs to take responsibility and no homeowner should have to deal with a neighbor's dog on their property no matter how friendly or harmless. that's just inconsiderate.

If anyone criticizes my pits, I want it to be because of their own prejudice, not because I have allowed my dogs to infringe on that person's rights.

Nov 08, 2011
We have leash laws for a reason.
by: Li

To the person who said the pittie should be allowed to run free because life is short... you are only half right. Life is short for pets that are allowed to run freely, due to the countless dangers they face. Cars, other loose animals, wild animals, diseases, poisons, people shooting at them, people accusing them of attacks, etc. Leash laws not only protect people from animals, but also animals from people.

I work at an animal shelter and I've seen the results of letting pets roam firsthand. Countless animals that have been hit by cars, shot, poisoned, and attacked by other animals have come through our doors. Many are in such bad shape that the only humane option for them is to be put to sleep.

I am also the proud dog-mom of a pit bull (as well as several other fur-babies). I never let her out of my sight outdoors, even if she is in a fenced-in yard. My pibble is one of the happiest dogs I know. Why? Because she's healthy, safe, and loved unconditionally.

Nov 08, 2011
NO free range dogs...ever!!
by: Betsy

The days of letting our dogs roam the neighborhood, free, are long gone. Pits and a few other breeds especially.
I was out walking my little pit mix the other day and out of the bushes comes this HUGE hound dog/shepherd looking critter. His tail was straight up and he was walking on his tip toes toward us. Abby has never encountered an agressive dog. I turned around as fast as I could, and walking backwards, said in my firmest voice..."YOU STAY!!"...and he did!! I could recognize the intent of that dog by the language his body was screaming at me....
I would make sure your kitties are NOT out there when you aren't there. I also agree that the owner needs a visit from someone in authority to keep him in his yard. How tragic if your kitties got hurt or the puppy got hit by a car!!
Hope everything works out for you!! Pit bulls are the best dogs, but they do scare some folks and they will chase some animals if not kept under control. Take care.

Nov 09, 2011
Roaming animal
by: Deb

I want to thank all of you for your comments. I feel much better knowing that I was not over reacting to the situation. I just don't want his pet hurt or my animals hurt, I'd just like him to be a responsible pet owner. I haven't seen the dog lately, so I'm hoping he's taking this more seriously.

Thank you all again.

Nov 09, 2011
So Sorry !
by: Norma Jean

I am a strong pit bull advocate. I have had my Peanut since I rescued him from the animal shelter at 3 months old. He is going on 4 years old now. I NEVER let him off the leash. Number 1: we have a leash law in my city, 2: NO dog should ever roam free much less a pit. No matter if you have a gentle giant (which most pits are) or a trained, mean fighting pit (SHAME ON YOU)......your dog is a risk to community. NO ONE likes poop in their yard, cats and pets feel threatened, etc. My pit is a total house dog. He is only taken out to "do his business" and sniff some, then back in the house. He is ALWAYS on his leash. He is the love of my neighborhood and town because people have seen him being a mobility dog for me and how timid and gentle he is to EVERYONE. I am truly blessed that I am retired and home with him ALL the time.
I suggest, and it is sad, call your local animal control officer. They can pick up the dog, see if he is microchipped and most places will hold the dog to allow time for the owner to claim it. Sad if not claimed BUT the pit is better being under protective care than roaming on his own. Our shelter will often advertise their dogs in the local newspaper and that would include dogs that have owners.
Praying for resolution for you. BTW.....I would give my life for my pit bull, I LOVE him that much.

Nov 09, 2011
Roaming pit

PS: In re-reading your post, I am alarmed your local animal control officer DID NOT do their job to enforce the leash law. Even if this person has their own pits....he/she is NOT doing his job. Thank God, I have good relationship with my local animal control officer. Report him/her to your local PD but DO NOT let a officer come get the dog. Some are known to shoot pits on the spot.


Nov 09, 2011
It's not just "large" dogs
by: Anonymous

I know this is frustrating for you and MAYBE dangerous for the cats. But I think you need to not generalize your leash law into saying that it should not be large dogs. There are PLENTY of small dogs that are just as dangerous but society never advertises those incidents as they do the "large" dog ones. You are just feeding into the negative views all large dogs are given by society. As the owner of 2 large dogs, both of which are animal friendly, I do not let my dogs of a leash ever, even in my own neighborhood or the park, as I now that it is against the law. I think laws should be for all animals, large, small, cat or dog. I sometimes have a neighbors cat in my own back yard that is fenced in that I let my dogs out in. It should not be my responsibility to keep the cat out of my yard. So just as the dogs shouldn't roam, neither should the cats.

Nov 09, 2011
Roaming Pit Bull
by: Anonymous

My cats do not roam. I have spent a good deal of money on a cat enclosure off my garage and on a screen room on my deck for them. I am a responsible pet owner. I wish everyone was. I'm not discriminating against large dogs; however, in this case it was a large dog on my property and since it was a pit, I came to this site to get some knowledge of the breed and some opinions from pit owners about the situation. I think that the difference in damage that could be done by a large dog versus a small dog if attacked by one is obvious.

Nov 09, 2011
Keeping Cats Safe
by: Sharon

I had the experience of a neighbor's cat pulling the screen off my window in the sun room, letting my indoor cat out and the neighbor's roaming dog killed my cat. What we did was we got white plastic lattice at Lowe's or any Dept. store and nailed it to the windows on the outside of the sun room that we open for air to our indoor cats and nothing can pull the screens off and my cats can't push the screens through.
I wish a friend of mine would have listened to me and done the same since he lived on the 11th floor of an apt. bldg. and had a cat - HAD is the key word. Look for safety issues ahead of time and be ready for unexpected problems. No dogs should roam free in the city or country, especially those that haven't been fixed. How many animals have to be euthanized before we overcome this tragedy?

Nov 09, 2011
Roaming Pit Bull
by: Anonymous

Sharon, Thanks for your comments, and I'm so sorry about your pet. I'm putting up thick lattice and a high barrier to the deck and have already put up a high barrier to my breezeway. This was just a situation that was totally out of the blue. Had never seen the dog before and then 3 out of 4 days, she's at my house. You take care. Deb

Jul 08, 2012
lazy & selfish pit owner
by: mrts mum

hi i just want to say that regardless of size or breed of dog, no dog should be let out of a home to roam the streets, this is definetly the owners issue and unfortunally its now yours , your cats and sadly the dogs issue but the dogs owner is sitting pretty no worries about her dog not only navigating the dangers of being out alone and the owner can say it doesnt bite untill the end of time, but she doesnt know what her dog gets up to roaming alone i luv pits i own 1 but this owner can not know what challenges the dog may come up against, what if theres another roaming dog who isnt as friendly as hers & a fight happens then you have evil people who do horrendous things to animals who are out alone, but has the owner ever stoped to think about how much you luv your cats & that they are not the only ppl who luv there pet its like oh my dog will be okay yeh i pray it is but think of others & their pets this pit owner sounds lazy, walk your dog i dont know of any country were dogs are allowed to roam free i would be so worried about my dog being out alone let alone thinking about what heartache it could cause by hurting another animal, come on the roaming pit owner get up get out & walk your dog

Jul 08, 2012
Thanks to Everyone
by: Anonymous

Just a followup:

First, thanks to all who responded with your support. The issue with the pit has resolved itself because the owner has moved out of the area. Sad that he didn't understand that the laws are meant for everyone's safety, including his own dog. Hopefully, he will act more responsibly in the future. That is all we can ever do--hope.

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