This page is part of Section Eight:
the Cause section of

An Animal Control System that Imperils the Victim

The Multiple-Household laws, that were supposedly written to deter chronic barking, actually mandate that, before law enforcement will even consider intervening, the victimized neighbor must first interact with and take actions against the dog owner that are all but certain to engender antagonisms. Imagine the plight of an elderly woman awash in an ocean of noise from a yard full of guard dogs belonging to a menacing looking young neighbor known to use methamphetamine and to have served prison time for violent behavior. Do you really think she is going to march over to his house, as the multiple-household laws mandate, demand her right to the quiet enjoyment of her property and then organize the neighborhood in a legal crusade against him? How about someone in desperate need of quiet who is too sick to get out of bed? How about the cautious, the cowardly, those with dependents, and others who just have too much to lose to cross someone they know may be dangerous? How are they supposed to secure a quiet environment under the multiple-household laws, or any victim-driven law for that matter?

It needs to be recognized that talking to someone about their barking dog is not a pleasant experience. It's not like chatting with the cashier in the check-out line at the grocery store. After all, if the owner was inclined to bark train his dog, he would have done that already. When you confront your neighbor, you are going where you're not wanted to give someone a message they don't want to hear. It is upsetting under the best of circumstances and most people simply don't have the assertiveness or the verbal skills necessary to chat up the neighbor and wade through a million sorry excuses for why the dog can't possibly be trained. Many people are just too small, frail, old, sick, intimidated or vulnerable, to put themselves in the way of potential harm. To saddle the victims with a legal requirement that says that they must square off with the perpetrator in that fashion is to victimize them a second time, and it places upon them an outrageous burden.

It is interesting to note that, while local government is telling us it is safe for us to square off with our neighbor over his dog, the National Animal Control Association (a nation-wide affiliation of animal control officers) is warning of increasing violence against its members, and advising animal control officers as to how they can go about acquiring bulletproof vests.

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This page is part of Section Eight:
Cause section of

This page is part of the Cause section of