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Leash law unconstitutional?
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screaminghollow    Posted 01-30-2003 at 17:51:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Talking with some guys about a news column in the local fish wrapper. Seems a woman near here was charged with allowing her dog to roam free on her own property in a municipality with a leash law. Seems the PA constitution provides that a persons right to defend themselves and the state shall not be questioned. She takes the position that she don't like guns, and the dog has alerted her to trespassers, burglars trying to break in etc. She says the dog is both her alarm system and her weapon of defense. That because her dog is her defense of herself and her property while on her land, the municipality leash law is an infringement upon her right of self defense as guarateed by the state constitution. Therefore the leash law is unconstitutional. This lady is representing herself and came up with this. She just may have a point.

screaminghollow    Posted 01-31-2003 at 09:18:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I got a 50 acre parcel. In four years, I've had:
a. folks hiding in the woods watching my house, who knows for what purpose,
b. folks in my pasture swinging golf clubs at the bulls,
c. men on ATV's running through my pasture and across my lawn,
d. a fellow who rides around on an ATV at night wearing night vision goggles, in my tool shed at 4:00am
e. uninvited loggers sizing up my trees with chain saws in hand
f. a person ripping down my fences
g. a guy along my drive way about 150 feet from the barn at 6:00am
h. a pickup truck full of folks with a keg of beer looking for a place to party
g. dogs chasing my sheep in the sheep pasture
h. dogs killing three goats in the goat pasture
i. strange woman standing about twenty feet from the back of my house at 9:00 pm who "didn't need any help"
j. an uninvited marijuanna farmer

There is either four foot feild fence or electric fence around 70% of the perimeter and there is fence about 95% around the house and barn. Those folks still got in. Soon the fence will be 100% around the perimeter.

I don't tie up my dogs anymore. They are my alarm system and protection. Twice they were confined. Until the three goats were killed, and then not until a dog warden(yeah we got state dog wardens in PA) threatened to cite me. I confined the dogs and two weeks later the guy was in my tool shed and the strange woman was standing behind my house. Never again. My three dogs attacked the last dog in the sheep pasture. And not only alerted me to the guy along the driveway at 6:00 am, but he ran like the dickens when he heard them coming his direction.
I had reached the point where I would rather pay the fine than allow nefarious folks on my property. Now I may have an argument to get out of paying any fines. My dogs are not the usual watch dags. I got a Brittany, a Beagle and a Blue heeler. There's a sign at the entrance of the 1/4 mile long driveway which says "Private Drive Agency Employee's Only" We don't get any salesmen. The mail box is at the entrance to the driveway, the electric meter is only half way back the driveway and then the service goes underground. Aint nobody got any right back on my place period. There will soon be a four foot fence aound the entire place, with a hot wire on top. Some body wants to see me, they better call first.
As it is now, the dogs can occasionally wander up to the neighbors'. In about two weeks they'll be confined to the 50 acres. It shouldn't be like this. But with the goin's on here, that's the way it's gonna be.

By the way, the lady in the newpaper, got a citation even though the dogs were in her fenced horse pasture.

Nathan(GA)    Posted 01-31-2003 at 13:10:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
Remind me to never move to your area of the country. I feel for ya. Sounds like some real winners live or visit there. I hope the fence helps, but it doesn't sound like it'll stop 'em.

I also feel for my kids. Lord only knows what the world will be like when they're grown.

Jason    Posted 03-14-2003 at 15:34:09       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am on the county board in Ogle County Illinois and theyt want to pass a leash law and a mandatory microchiping of dogs in this county. I am trying to fight this on the merits of too much big brother but I am trying to find more information about the subject to present in the next meeting April 10, 2003. Any help would be appreciated


Kim    Posted 05-10-2004 at 20:12:23       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I live in Carroll Co. IL bordering Ogle Co. I don't believe there should be a leash law at all, but I do believe that we do need to figure out something to encourage responsible dog ownership. I breed dogs and have several on my property. All of them are either kenneled or penned, or in the house, unless I (or a family member) am outside with them, with the exception of one. The one that I let run on my 9 acres, stays on my property and is used for security to a certain extent. She has never bitten anyone, or shown any desire to, but will bark at strangers and makes me feel much safer when my husband is gone. The problem is, we have a legal easement through our property, and the person who uses that easement brings his dog with him. That dog has tried to kill our cats, has snapped at one of my kids, and has gone after my dog. This dog is a large dog and this situation has me concerned! I am deathly afraid, every time he brings that dog here, that one of my dogs is going to get attacked and that one of my kids will end up in the middle of it. I have voiced my concern to the owner to no avail. As far as I know, there is nothing I can do, except for to pray that nothing happens. People like this, are the ones that are going to ruin it for everyone and force it so that we have to have a leash law to keep people safe. In my opinion this person needs to leave his dog home and then we wouldn't have a problem. If anyone has any suggestions, I would really like to hear them.

Lynch in E.TX    Posted 01-31-2003 at 09:12:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I agree with her, but if her dog comes to my house one too many times, he loses HIS right to live. If she has him fenced, then the law is crap. I depend on my dog to tell me when someone is coming on to my property...don't know what I'd do without her. But a .357 Mag is cheaper to feed. Lynch

Pilgrim    Posted 01-31-2003 at 07:27:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Signs to tell people that a dog is on the property ???

That reminds me of what we were told in my town. A piece of public land was opened for hunting to the objection of the abutters who said there was no way that the hunters could tell the public land from theirs and they didn't want hunting on their property (also lots of houses in the area). The town told them they'd have to put no hunting/trespassing signs every 50 feet to tell hunters to stay away !

In other words, all privately owned land is public unless the owner posts that it's not !!

Tom A    Posted 01-31-2003 at 03:34:09       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Sorry, if the case is as you stated, the dogs and the lady are right. The key in my mind is "on her property." These kinds of laws are an unconstitutional government taking of private property without just compensation. Doesn't matter if there's a fence or signs, if the dog is on her property, no government should be able to restrict her unless the dog has shown some prior "problems".

However, with rights come responsibilities. *If* the dog leaves the property and bites somebody, *or* if somebody with a normally-accepted right to come on the property (mailman, meter reader, even a door-to-door salesman) does so and the dog attacks without cause, then she is totally liable for any and all damage done by the dog. In my mind, same rules go for a gun. But you can't restrict her rights on private property in advance.

Tom A

Thanks Tom    Posted 01-31-2003 at 03:39:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You crystalized everything I wanted to say...

Like Fawteen...I kept deleting my posts, cuz I just could not keep my words under control...


Juliana    Posted 01-30-2003 at 21:57:01       [Reply]  [Send Email]
There are several questions that need to be addressed. Is the property fenced and posted that there is a dog? What breed of dog? Some breeds are on the "list" of insurance companies that are noted for their aggressive traites:ie the PitBull. Some companies will not insure the home owner if they have one of these breeds. Have there been complaints from people who have the legal right to be on her property? Does the dog have a bite record? Is she the only one that has this problem, or are ALL people in the same situation required to leash the dog on the property?
If she has ANY disabilities, she may have a defence under The American With Disabilities Act and claim the dog as her companion/protector. Then she can then go Federal. Let us know how this case turns out.

Redneck    Posted 01-31-2003 at 02:12:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
If a person does not own the property,then they know it belongs to someone else.They need to keep their their rump off it,their kids off and their animals off it unless they have been INVITED!I don't believe in signs and a dog can be trained to mind and stay home.If you come to his home uninvited,you are on your own.

The crap with certain breeds biting more is just pure yuppie predjudice bull$#:!! toward certain breeds and the type of folks that usually have those breeds to keep the yuppie types off their land.I have been chased and bitten by "mops" much,much more than by real dogs.They don't protect property,only snap and bite at kids and neighbors and such.On the other hand,the pitt bull is one of the most loving breeds you can have.They fiercly protect their family and home,as any real dog should if they are worth the salt in their beans.

MikeC    Posted 01-31-2003 at 04:14:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
In the early part of the 19th century, the Bulldog was bred in England for the purpose of bull baiting. Bull baiting is a sport in which a tethered bull, brought to market for slaughter, would be attacked by bulldogs. The supposed purpose of the bull baiting was to help tenderize the meet of the bull prior to slaughter. It was thought that the dog attacks would help to tenderize the meat. While there was no scientific proof that the bull baiting actually tenderized the meat, its purpose was most likely to profit those who trained dogs.

The bull baiting was cruel to both the dog and the bull. During these matches the dog would assault the bull, while trying to avoid the stomping hooves and slashing horns of the bull. The dog would attempt to grab on to a nose or ear, and hang on until the bull collapsed from exhaustion or lack of oxygen. Many dogs were crushed underneath the bull's hooves, disemboweled by slashing horns, and tossed through the air causing broken legs, backs, and skulls when they hit the ground. On the whole, both the dogs and the bulls suffered greatly. Every class of person from commoners to royalty enjoyed this sport until mass public outcry finally forced Parliament to take a stand and ban the practice of bull baiting in 1835.

With bull baiting banned, dog breeders turned their attention to dog fighting. These dogs were preferred because of their fierceness, courage, and tenacity. The dog breeders began with the Bull Dog, mixed in some terrier blood for gameness, and produced the Bull and Terrier, a dog that met all of their expectations. The Bull and Terrier was bred for aggression to other dogs, unrelenting bravery, a high pain threshold, a superior blood clotting ability to aid him when wounded, and a willingness to fight to the end. Dogfights were also very brutal on the dog as they sometimes were allowed to go until death.

While some effort has been made to reduce the Pit Bulls aggressiveness, the breed still remains the highest ranked dog for mauling and killing people. It's doubtful that there will ever be a non aggressive Pit Bull. These are the reasons insurance companies charge high rates to people that own them, not because of "yuppies".

Redneck    Posted 02-02-2003 at 04:15:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have that same book that you copied that out of.Interesting reading.

No,it's yuppie veiws alright.The spitz,chow,most all of your mixed kettle of ankle biters are much more aggressive than pits.They are just like their owners though,all bark and very little bite.It burns up the yuppies to see a house out in the country that they can't just have access to it and the surrounding property because of a mean ol' dog that is just doing what mean ol' dogs do!Insurance companies and those that believe that their greed is justified need to take a long trip behind the woodshed.

DeadCarp - good idea!    Posted 01-31-2003 at 06:47:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Insurance companies have taught everybody to fear pit bulls, yet a few still remain. So i suggest that we give any "trouble" dog a second chance - let's call it CEO baiting. We find some clown who cheated his empoloyees out of their retirement, toss him in the ring with about 2 dozen of them starvin puppies! We could have politicians referee to keep it legal. Hey, no bulls or dogs would get hurt and the scraps could feed gators :)

Redneck    Posted 02-02-2003 at 04:05:26       [Reply]  [No Email]

Cindi    Posted 01-31-2003 at 03:49:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I don't think that it is so much the breed of the dog being more ferocious than others as it is the capability to do devastating damage.

If bitten by a poodle, you got a bite. The dog bites and lets go and runs off and looks at you like, 'now whatcha gonna do?'

If bitten by a pit bull there is the very real possibility that the dog could kill you. They bite and they hang on and keep yanking until they pull out a good sized hunk of meat and then bite again.

Another breed that can and will kill you is a rotty. These dogs mark the difference between owning a .410 and an oozie.

Any dog can 'lose it' and suddenly bite, they are animals and unpredictable. I have an old mutt that will bite if someone accidently steps on him or mistreats him somehow, but he can't take off a limb.

Redneck    Posted 02-02-2003 at 04:28:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Any larger dog can do the same and can be killers.The ankle biters ain't got enough grit in their poop to do it,and that is what bothers most un-larger dog owners.The pitt is not near aggressive to humans as other breeds but are fiercly protective of "their" family.They have not gotten a fair share from the media at all.The insurance companies and those that believe in their legal stealing need a trip out behind the woodshed!

Darryl (Mo)    Posted 01-30-2003 at 19:57:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
It seems to me that if the dogs were roaming on her property within an 'escape-proof' fence with appropriate warning signs for the meter reader, cable guy, etc. she may have some hope of prevailing. If they're on her property with nothing to prevent them from leaving I'd say she has no chance to win. Screaminghollow, I think I've gathered from past threads that you're in the legal profession. What's your take on her situation?


Rusty 2N    Posted 01-30-2003 at 19:41:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
I just lurk here most of the time but this one opened my eyes, I agree with the lady. But... If'n you live in a "jurisdiction" then you must follow the rules of said "juristiction" (sp). I had a Shepard/collie partner for 15 yrs. He had a stack of paper work on him as long as your arm. Dogs have always been my first line of defense. Run 6 Akitas & 1 little "dustmop" dog & she would wake up the big dogs. I have always lived away from everybody so if you are bitten you deserve it.We do have the right to defend ourselves in this country. (For awhile yet). If you don't like the rules where you live then you still have the "right" to move to where you can live the way you want. Hey! It works for me. So I can't run to the 7-11 when ever. The price of freedom isn't cheap & costin' more everyday. Sorry, I said to much already. My vote goes to thr dogs anyways.

walt    Posted 01-30-2003 at 19:22:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well, roaming free on your own property, or inside a fence are probably two different matters. Most folks dont know/havent trained their dogs very well. I have seen first hand what a dog who gets scared can do. So he bites the meter reader, mailman, etc. What's her defense? Some people and dogs just dont get along. The common myth of dogs sensing fear/aggression is not true. They sense "emotion" which translates into "unpredictability". So the dog will fight or flee. I am not talking about dogs that have been through guarddog training. Just your average home mutt..

Fawteen    Posted 01-30-2003 at 18:04:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm speechless.

Actually, I'm not, but I've formulated three different replies and can't seem to remain civil, so I'll just shut up.

Nathan(GA)    Posted 01-30-2003 at 19:10:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Aw come on Fawteen. Tell us how you feel.

Fawteen - Nope    Posted 01-30-2003 at 19:18:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
I ain't a-gonna do it. This board's been purdy calm lately, and I ain't gonna be the one to stir it up.

Sid    Posted 01-30-2003 at 20:24:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am not a legal wizard but I do appreciate my individual rights,and make an effort to respect the rights of others. But let's face it rights without responsibility aint't diddley squat. I remember in high school civics the teacher saying that my rights go as far as I can reach with my fist but stop before it reaches your nose. Is it possible that this situation has happened because the person involved has failed to act responsibly concerning her dogs? Or is somebody just trying to strut their stuff, I suspect a little of both.

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