Neighborhood Dogs

Most dog-related conflicts can be resolved by speaking to the dog owner. If the owner is uncooperative, the law can assist. Photo by Helena Lopes

concerns & conflicts

Concerned about a neighbor's dog? Your first step is to talk to your neighbor. Although Pine Mountain dog owners are not required to contain their dogs, Alabama does hold the dog owner responsible for the dog's actions on your property.

If a neighbor's dog damages your belongings or enters your fence and kills your livestock, your legal recourse is to ask the owner for reimbursement per Alabama Code §3-1-1, §3-1-4, or §3-1-6, depending on the circumstances. Provide photographs or video, such as from a game cam, that show his dog causing the damage.

An uncooperative dog owner will face greater penalties and have all the more incentive to take responsibility for his dog should you file a small claims case, which may entitle you to reimbursement for court costs and twice the damages of harmed livestock, per Alabama Code §3-1-1.

For information, visit Blount County Small Claims and click on “Small Claims FAQ.” The forms mentioned in the FAQ are available from Alabama Administrative Office of Courts' Small Claims section.

harming a dog or cat

Harming a dog or cat without legal cause is a criminal misdemeanor or felony offense per Alabama Code §13A-11-14, §13A-11.14.1, and §13A-11-241, punishable by fines and imprisonment. Neglecting or abusing an animal, such as by failing to provide food, water, and shelter, or abandoning an animal, is also a criminal violation under these laws. Each animal neglected or abused is an additional criminal charge.

no 'leash law' in blount county

See Leash Law for a full discussion of the Alabama law and why it does not apply in Blount County.