What can I do about my neighbor’s dogs coming in my yard and killing my animals?

On 2 occasions my neighbors dogs have come onto my property and killed my animals. The first time was a dog which was my sons and most recently, my daughters cat. I live in Mississippi county, out in the county, where there are no leash laws. The dogs are pit bulls or mixed pit bulls and I have spoken with my neighbor about it, but to no avail. I do not want to harm the dogs but am not above it if I catch them trying to hurt or kill another one of our animals. What can I do to further prevent any more incidents occurring?

Asked on September 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) You can sue your neighbor for the value of the killed animals and for any other costs (e.g. vet bills; cremetion costs) you incurred in  connection with the attacks. Maybe he will get the idea once he starts having to go to court and paying compensation.
2) You could bring a legal action for a court order requiring him to keep his animals chained or confined on the basis of their potential danger or harm. If he violated the order, he could (depending on the terms of the order) be punished (e.g. fined) and/or his animals destroyed.
You could do the above together in the same legal action, but note that 2) cannot be brought in small claims court, since small claims court does not have the power to grant orders, only monetary compensation; you'd have to bring it in "regular" county court.

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