For those of you seeking
to learn what you can do about neighbors with barking dogs that disturb your
right to peace and quiet, read on.....this page may give you hope! There is
something you can do about it. My problem has since been solved, hopefully
yours will be, too.
I am not a dog person, I am more of a feline / primate / reptile kind of a
person, not a
dog person. It doesn't mean I don't like them or hate them....I just don't want
to own one. They demand a lot of attention, and I am responsible enough to know
that I cannot provide all that a dog needs. So, I do not have one. If I can't
take care of it....I don't need it. What's the point?
ex-husband and I
bought this house years ago, we were surrounded by beautiful woods. It
was peaceful, quiet, and exactly where we wanted to be. I didn't want to have
very close neighbors with loud kids and barking dogs. That is my right....that
is my desire. I have had my fill of apartments, neighbors, dogs, noise, all of
it. I was finally in a position to live where I 'wanted', not where I 'had' to live.
On July 10, 1997...on a
Thursday afternoon, I discovered that the land that surrounded our home was
sold, and going to be turned into 123 lots for pre-fab
homes.....TRAILERS.....modular homes....factory built homes.
company up north decided that they were going to have a
'factory-built-home-haven' and become rich. They knew that the
south was famous for trailer homes. The town we live in is the fastest growing
community in all of South Carolina. So, these guys thought this was a great
This house, when it was
built, was owned by one of the wealthiest people in the county. They owned an
impressive amount of land that surrounded the house. As the years went by,
things changed. This house used to have more land with it, but not by the time
we bought it. The rest of the land now belonged to other members of the same
family. It is my understanding that the patriarch of this family always said
that he did not want his land sold off when he died. He didn't want a trailer
park on what used to be his land. So, the minute that man died, his greedy kids
sold that land to the first person that came their way, and he had a big ol'
'trailer grin' on his face.
Now, what they should
have done is get themselves some land out in Possum Kingdom, or Sugar
Tit....maybe in Fingerville, or Una... perhaps in Dark Corner...maybe Due
West....yes, those are real places in South Carolina.
For the past four years I
have been listening to the sounds of chain-saws, tractors, trees falling,
motors, dynamite blasts, worker's radios, and hammers. As you can see in
this picture, the woods are gone.....and from our deck, all we see now is the
ugly pre-fab homes that have taken the place of woods.
I have had my phone lines
cut, by accident, while roads were being cut in. As this project progressed,
those beautiful woods were brought down and my wonderful scenery is now the back
end of plain, boring trailers. I don't care what you call them, they came in
here on wheels....they are trailers!
But I have not
complained about it ...stated my opinion...and you know I do, but I understand
progress. I don't have to like it and I don't like having this trailer park
behind my house, but I've been a good sport about it all until fairly recently.
And it's not like we were
looking at a bare lot when we moved here....there was nothing here but woods. No
one saw this coming. Everyone that we knew was stunned at this. And, before I
continue, I love telling you that the whole thing isn't as successful as they
had hoped (she said gloating and smiling). The trailers were not selling as
planned. The developers were to clear the land and this other company had
the task of selling the trailers to set on the land....and they were dragging
their feet about it. Oh, they have sold some.....but the rest of the land will
have 'homes built on it', not drove in on wheels. That's a good thing.
Good recovery, don't you think?
There are maybe eight of
those trailers here now. And my ex-husband and I started to see a pattern....as the people
moved in, for reasons we don't understand, the first thing these folks did was
to go out and get themselves a dog, and tie it up in the back yard. Why?
we're not talking about people who are responsible dog owners....we're talking
about people who put the dog out, tie it up, and have no shelter....we see no
water or food bowls....and it's hot down here. And they are all puppies....do
you know how much puppies bark and whine?
We have other neighbors
that moved in not far from us, and they have a puppy out in the yard, too, and
it barks, but not as bad as some. However, I can't say anything on this page
about them at all. Although we've had no trouble from them, if I mention the
fact that they are black, everyone will automatically think that I am singling
them out 'because they are black'. So, I'll just stick to talking
about the 'white trash' that lives near me. But I do want to go on
record as stating that I do NOT have trouble with the black neighbors.
Well, I will admit that it is unsightly to see that their method of drying their
clothes includes draping them over the parked cars on the property instead of
using a clothesline. You look out and you see that they have clothes laid across
everything. But....can't say anything...I'll be called a raciest. God
forbid I point out anything that I see. It's okay for THEM to say anything they
want about WHITE people, but I'm not 'allowed' to say a word about THEIR culture
and how it clashes with OURS.
now we have a different problem...they pay absolutely NO attention to their dog
at all, and they also never, ever 'clean up' after their dog. That
dog has been in the exact same spot for a few months now and the 'dog
do' is so bad that the smell is wafting over to our place, .and just
walking up to the front of our door is enough to gag you.
I mean, it would
make you sick to your stomach. Plus, their pup is a full-fledged 'Blab-a-dor'.....all he does is yap, yap, yap....all day and all
night, and most of the time it has no food or water.
So, as usual, it's up to
Les and I to call Animal Control and report it....everyone else in the
neighborhood has their own tail between their legs and is afraid to say
anything. No one wants to be accused of 'starting anything'.
I do want to say
this.....we have a family that lives directly in back of us. They have three
dogs, and we never hear them. These people are the 'poster children'
of what a responsible dog owner is. They REALLY take care of their animals.
They can be seen walking their dogs all the time. The dogs live in the house
with the family. We also see them in their back yard cleaning up the 'dog
do'. We could not ask for nicer people. I am so glad that they are the ones
that moved in right behind us. So, anything I may say in this story DOES NOT
include them. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about them. But I can't
say that about the rest of the neighbors.
On Wednesday, June 7th, Les
and I awoke to the sound of explosions. Our neighbors, the ones who had loud
domestic disputes occasionally, were at it again...only this time, the man set
his wife's car on fire. So, being the ghouls that we are, we got out of our beds
and went outside to stand in the front of our yard and watch the car blow up and
burn the side of the trailer. Les called 911.
We live maybe a quarter of a mile
from the fire house, so, the fire trucks arrived very quickly. I just knew that
when the fire was put out that there would be a dead body in the front seat. But
there wasn't ....no one died that night. No, this man waited until he was in
front of the judge to threaten to kill his wife. We do not live in a quiet,
peaceful neighborhood anymore. No, we live in front of a trailer park now....and
this is, I guess, typical southern trailer park entertainment.
These people have a dog, too. They kept in
inside, but once in a while they would tie it up to a tree outside and let it
bark it's little head off. But, they are moving now....the man is still in jail
and we see evidence that they won't be a part of the neighborhood. I shudder to
think of what or who will move in next. It's your classic 'garden
variety' double wide. That in itself can be attractive to a number of
people down here. And I have no idea as to why. I mean, we live at the tip of
'Tornado Alley'.....I bought a house with a basement....for that
reason. I feel like Noah....no one else around here has a basement.
Then came 'the neighborhood
idiot'.....the epitome of white trash...the kind of person that no one
wants in their neighborhood...and he was now a proud owner of one of the
new 'Cape' trailers...that's right, a 'two story' model. And
he went right out and put all of the proper 'accessories' in his back
yard....the huge trampoline, the swing-set, the above-ground pool, and he even
had some cement poured around a tree and trenched it out to make a moat....don't
ask...I heard that he wanted to put gold-fish in it soon. (Don't get me started
on that one)
He also has a 'wind sock' hanging on the porch and a
'country-style' bench to sit on....and no one sits on it. And at any
given week, you can see another vehicle in his yard....always 'new to
him'...someone else's junky car or truck. He has several. I'm just waiting for
the truck-tire flower beds and aluminum can collection in clear plastic garbage
And Idiot himself....how classic....he's a
low-rider...you know, long-waisted, with an inseam of about 12 inches. Huge
belly, and no shoulders....his neck goes right into his waist....he has that 'sausage casing body' and he wears those long shorts...I hate
those things....they make an already bad physique look even worse. (I have never
seen those kind of shorts to look good on anyone. Just because it's in style
doesn't mean it looks good) And he'll have on either a muscle shirt or an
over-size tee shirt. And slow.....let me tell you, if he was any slower when he
walked, you'd have to check his pulse. He's like a slow, southern slug. And you
know it's bad when I can look out of my bathroom window and see the hair on his
So, what else did he need to put in his
small back yard?.....that's right, what home would be complete without the 'neglected dog'? So, he ties this black dog up to the little wooden
bridge in his back yard. The bridge was built over the creek that runs along his
back yard. And now he had his dog tied up to it without any other means of
shelter. And that dog barked his head off all day long. And it's not just a
bark...it's a shrill, loud, 'bust-your-ear-drum' kind of a bark.
The one that pierces through your ears, penetrates your brain and exits your
Idiot ended up losing his job, so, he just
meandered around his property in full view of his barking dog and continued
to neglect it. He would feed it maybe once a day, or when he was good and ready.
My ex-husband approached him five different times about his dog
barking because it was
annoying us. Les tried to reason with him and talked to him very nice about it
all. And it wasn't because his dog was just barking...it's the 'kind' of
barking...it was that 'neglected dog' kind of barking. I
can understand that a dog will bark, but I can also tell you that any dog that
is tied up and neglected will turn into a chronic barker. That's not fun
for the REST of us who have to listen to it day in and day out while the
owners tune it out.
I couldn't raise my
windows and enjoy the nice breeze this spring.....all I could hear was that dog.
Any dog that is tied up is bored and lonely, and desperate. They turn their
water bowl over, they are hungry, they are in their own fecal matter, urine, and they are flea-infested...and the Carolinas are notorious for ticks
from the vast amount of pine trees.
Plus, they see their owners out walking
around and they want to be with them. This guy didn't care. He could tune that
dog's barking out as though it wasn't making a sound. He spent his days
wandering around his property, aimlessly, setting his dog off.
You remember the Son Of Sam, don't you? And
what was it that was pushing him over the edge.....THE BARKING DOG. I
really wanted to tell Idiot that he must do something with his dog....that it
was 'barking instructions' to me to go on a killing spree.
I was getting so fed up with him. He would
be sitting outside or just walking around and tuning his dog's barking out. Then
he was calling Les and I 'cry-babies' because we said something to him
about it. I couldn't even go out in the sun or sit on the deck and
write.....bark, bark, bark.....that's all I heard all day long.
And I'm writing a book...I'd love to work on the rough drafts out on the
deck, but I can't. Three years ago Les and I built a great deck...put a fireplace
on it and everything. It's heavenly out there, but not anymore.
What else were we supposed to do? His
right to have a dog was encroaching on my right to peace and quiet. I
chose not to have a dog, why did I have to put up with his? He was not working,
his wife never leaves the house...they have one child (thank God...stupid people
should never breed)....why couldn't he spend more time with his dog? Why did he
neglect it all the time? What possible excuse could he have? And just like our
'good neighbors' said, Idiot is robbing himself of the joys of a good pet.
He's missing out on the best part of having a dog, the wonderful
Which brings us to the fact that I had
worked at the Spartanburg Animal Shelter for two years. I knew every animal
control officer there was....in the city of Spartanburg, and in the county. I
also knew something about rights and nuisance laws, as well. I used to have to
answer the phone every day and talk to irate people who had noisy dogs in the
neighborhood. I had to advise them as to what to do, what not to do, and who to
call. And Les and I knew exactly who to call....my good buddy Cherie....she was
in charge of my particular area...and she told us what needed to be done.
And let me tell you about Cherie...she was
the first girl I met at the shelter on the day of my interview. She didn't
readily smile...I didn't even know she had teeth! She's a big girl, too..... And she has the sides of her head shaved, the rest of her
hair is long, and she has 30 tattoos. She means what she says....says what she
I used to ride with her to and from work every day. I got to know her real
well....and I also know what she doesn't like.....guys like Idiot.
When you work
at the shelter, you see guys like Idiot all the time and they make you dislike
them and their 'narrow-minded' thinking. It didn't take Cherie and I
long to realize that there was a difference between being ignorant and refusing
to be taught.
Idiot refused to be taught.
Steps had to be taken. For one thing, it
helps your case when other people lodge a complaint, as well. That way it
doesn't look like a personal thing between you and the offending neighbor. Did
we have neighborhood support? No.....no one said a word. No one wanted to
complain. Oh, they complained to 'each other' and even to us, behind
Idiot's back, but not to his face. Pack of chickens, they were.
Cherie went down there anyway and told him
what was and was not tolerated with dogs in a residential neighborhood.
Animal control is there to protect my rights, as well as the welfare of
animals. Guys like 'Idiot' can't just move in and let his dog bark all
the time. He has to think of the rights of his neighbors , they like to have
peace and quiet. And like I said, I understand that a dog will bark, but not
like this. Guys like him are a nightmare. There is a big difference between a
dog that is barking because it's happy and excited and a dog that is frustrated
After the animal control officer had
visited with him, Idiot went out and got himself THREE MORE PUPPIES and let them
run loose in his yard. I guess I don't need to tell you that he does not have a
The neighbors said that the puppies were going into their yards, too.
This was spite. This was direct revenge towards us for calling animal control.
Hey, at least I called the proper authorities and didn't take matters into my
own hands, like shoot him with my high-powered BB gun or something. Not
that I have one or anything..... (she says with an evil grin)
But this is how stupid he is.....animal
control told him the consequences for breaking the leash laws and nuisance
laws....$125.00 fine for the nuisance law...each time....$250.00 fine for not
having the proper vaccinations, like a rabies shot and visible tag, $450.00 fine
for animal cruelty, if he did not get his dog a dog house or acceptable means of
shelter, etc. And what does he do when animal control visits him because of ONE
barking dog? He goes out and acquires THREE MORE PUPPIES. Yeah, he sure is
going to show us, isn't he? No one is going to tell HIM what he can and cannot
We get animal control back out here
again...and she talks to him, again. He promises to build three more dog houses
by that coming weekend. At this point he had one dog house, finally, and thought
it was alright to tie all the dogs up to the same tiny dog house. Not the
brightest bulb in the hallway, is he?
Now we had to listen to all of them
bark all the time. The neighbors were complaining to each other, but not to
him. They didn't want to 'start anything'......hey, WE didn't want to
start anything either. We wanted to 'end' it....HE'S the one who
started it by disrupting our peace and quiet with his neglected dogs.
not everyone enjoys hearing a barking dog.
Not everyone thinks it's alright if
your dog comes in the yard and destroys your things.
Not everyone wants a dog
tearing into the trash and putting it all over the yard.
Not everyone wants to
walk around in their yard cleaning up dog-do. When you choose to move into a
residential neighborhood, you have to think of the neighbors, not just yourself.
You are responsible for your children and your animals.
Not everyone wants to
share your responsibilities. Les and I didn't choose to live
in a residential neighborhood....one was built around us three years after we
moved in. And even so, the new neighbors have to be responsible for those around
them....and that includes us.
We also noticed that it didn't take long
for Idiot to move the dog house close to the fringes of the woods and away from
his house. Oh, don't tell me that now HE was turning into a cry baby. Did the
puppies barking somehow disturb him? Well, this time he went a step
farther....he tied all three puppies up to cinder blocks on the other side of
his yard, well away from his house, and they had no shelter, no food,
no water. We could see them as plain as day from our deck and our bathroom
window. The sun was hot and there wasn't even a tree for them to go under. That
was on a Sunday. It rained Sunday afternoon. Surely, Idiot will put those
puppies somewhere....nope! Still, no food, no water, no shelter.
And what really
disgusts me is that every neighbor we have saw the same thing and not one person
called animal control. WE had to do it. We could not just stand by and see
something like that and not say anything. The neighbors were upset by it, too,
but not enough to say anything about it.
From what I've seen and learned at the
animal shelter and from dealing with idiots and apathetic neighbors, if someone
sees animal abuse and cruelty like this and says and does nothing .....they are
just as guilty.
A friend of mine has a really good saying..."If you stand
for nothing, you'll fall for anything"....and that is so true. No one here
was making a stand against this kind of neglect and cruelty. They wanted to
complain about it, but only in the form of gossip. They wanted to appear to
really be concerned for the animal's welfare, but they wanted to say and do
nothing to the proper authorities in order to get something done.
I have no use
for people like that......they are cowards.
Well, come Monday morning, it was
thundering, lightening, and raining. It was a summer storm and I could not
believe my eyes. There they were, those poor unprotected puppies, out in that
storm...still no food or water or shelter.
Les called animal control immediately and Cherie was here in no
time. What a sight that must have
been....an animal control officer's dream day.....Monday morning...puppies tied
up to a cinder block with no food, water, or shelter....wet puppies in the
rain....IN A THUNDERSTORM.....
And to add insult to injury, Idiot
was upstairs in his house asleep, sleeping in on a Monday morning...rain
hitting the roof....nice dry bed....he was probably laying there all swelled
up....comfortable...and Cherie was outside on his porch knocking on that door.
Woke him right up. That's right....I wasn't missing a thing. I was on the phone
with Les and telling him everything that was going on....standing at my bathroom
When Idiot came to the door, he was scary.
He had 'bed-head', was half asleep, and I saw Cherie,( who was
soaking wet from going around and seeing the sinful deed for herself), standing
on the porch and reading him the 'animal rights act'. He sat down on
the bench that is never sat in and just hung his head. I was up here yelling and
laughing at him....of course, no one heard me but Les. I was elated, to say
"Ol' puppy man....puppy-boy....gonna teach the Scruggs a
lesson....gonna show us, aren't you, you dog-neglector?"
Then I saw Idiot and Cherie walk back
behind the house and carry the wet puppies under their arms. Idiot carried two
of them and he was headed to the animal control truck. You do the math, if Cherie hadn't
taken some puppies with her that day, imagine the cost of this fine! It
was 'pay the fines' or 'give up the puppies'.
They hung onto
one of them.....Idiot's wife insisted on keeping "that thar fluffy
one". Cherie made them promise to keep it in the house, and no where else,
until they got it a dog house.
No, I do not feel guilty that they went to the
dog shelter. They had a better chance there than with Idiot. At least they
wouldn't be suffering and going without food, water, and shelter. At least being
puppies they had a better chance of being adopted to a family that could take
better care of them. Cherie called us later and told us what had transpired
between her and Idiot....filling in the details.
And wouldn't you know, Idiot did it again
in a few days. He sure did, he had that puppy tied up in the exact same place as
when they were all in the thunderstorm. Animal control was called again. This
time, they gave up the black dog, the original dog from the beginning. Now the
dog house was freed up to put the puppy in. Can you imagine what the carpet in
that trailer must have been like after several days?
"Ha, ha, Idiot! You don't get to move
in MY neighborhood and bring it down to your level. You don't get to destroy MY
peace and quiet with your neglected dogs. You don't get to abuse your animals
and not have something done about it".
It's up to Les and I to set the standard in
this neighborhood. We are at the top of the hill....I feel like a sentinel.
We can't do anything about that trailer park being dropped in behind us like
this, but we can work within the law to keep it tolerable. It's a much quieter
place to live now, sort of like it used to be before Idiot and the Pyromaniac
It still disgusts me how many cowards live
around us. They all saw the neglect and abuse....they got a better view of it
than we did...and they did nothing about it. They just talked among themselves
about it and how awful it was....blah, blah, blah. They are just as guilty
By their silence they are condoning it. How can people look out and
see that and say and do nothing? I have no respect for any of them...I haven't
even waved at any of them....well, okay, I waved, but not with all of my
There is a house being built right beside
of Idiot...and they are an elderly couple...and when they first bought the
property and met Idiot, they asked him right away what he was going to do about
his barking dog....they didn't want to live next door to a barking dog.
Just because Idiot can tune it out doesn't mean that WE can. So, this is
what I like about it, the house is almost finished and I know that Idiot is
living right next door to his future complainers....our back-up, our fellow
supporters. I couldn't write it this good!
There are a lot of people out there who are
forced to hear dogs barking in residential neighborhoods. The owners of the dogs
turn them loose to run the neighborhood and destroy property and be a nuisance.
My wonderful cat Rock was killed by a pack of dogs that were allowed to roam the
neighborhood. Or, the owners tie the dogs up in the back yard and neglect
them....creating the 'chronic barking dog'. A lot of people don't
think that anything can be done about it....but something can be done
about it. All they have to do is call the local animal shelter or animal
control. They can find out what the laws are and what steps to take. When the
proper authorities are called they can get the irresponsible dog owners
right in the wallet...and with court appearances and fines.....then maybe
something can get done about it.
And talk to your other neighbors about the
situation...see if any of them have a back-bone and will lend their support. The
more people you have to support you in your complaint, the faster things will be
taken care of.....
I just want you all to know that the idiots
don't have to win. Our village idiot didn't win.
On July 20, 2000 at shortly
after 3:00 in the afternoon, I looked out of my window and there it was....a big
U-haul was backed up to the front door of Idiot's house and it was being loaded
with his stuff.....gone, buh-bye. His wife left him, packed up everything and
left him. He is losing his house, which is something that I wouldn't wish on
anyone, but I'm just happy to see him go. I have learned that he plans to stay
in the house until the bank MAKES him move.
Plus, I have also learned that the
wife-beating pyromaniac is out of jail, and he, too, is losing his house. I
heard that he is doing the same thing....he is staying until the bank MAKES him
leave. Both he and Idiot have lost their jobs, their wives, and now their
houses. I just hope that one of them doesn't take the notion to do some kind of
a stand off....you know...do a shoot out...torch the neighborhood...take a
also moved out. He's gone.
Another update is that the
black neighbors that we have finally got rid of their dog. The smell emitting
from their yard was awful. We called animal control and they came out and had a
talk with them. Why did they even have a dog? We never once saw them give it any
attention...it was just tied up and left there. I guess when they realized that
animal control was going to hit them in their wallet, they re-thought their
decision to have a dog. And now we don't have to hear that dog bark all day or
smell the stench from where they are too lazy to clean up after it.
It is now September
2000.....and this past weekend my husband and I were able to go out onto our
deck, cook out some hamburgers, and enjoy the peace and quiet .....no barking
dogs....no smell of fecal matter wafting over towards our property, because of
people who are too stupid and lazy to clean up after their dogs...it was
And this is the way the neighborhood
should be. Oh, sure, there are
still dog owners here, but they are responsible. They do not neglect their
dogs...and their dogs are not chronic barkers. We never hear their dogs.
Interest To Those Who Own Dogs!
I have site trackers on my
site so I can monitor my success on the search engines. I take note of the
keywords in which my site is found. You would be stunned
to know how many people are typing in things on the search engines in order to
find ways to kill their neighbor's dogs. That's how annoying and frustrating it
is to live next door to a yapping dog.
I also see where they are typing in ways
of plotting revenge on neighbors who allow the peace and quiet of the
neighborhood to be ruined just because of a neglected dog. People are taking
these things into their own hands. It's not fair for a person to have their
right to peace and quiet ripped away from them. Think of how it would be if it
were the other way around.
This world is getting
really out of hand with folks who take things into their own hands....and let me
tell you, you never know if you are living next door to one of those people who
could just 'snap' and take everyone out....it's something to think about.
What if you live next door
to someone who just lost his job, maybe his wife, too....what if he just snaps
one day and decides he's had enough of everything, including that yapping dog?
What if he starts with the dog and just ends up taking everything and everyone
with him? You know the news we hear about...it
can happen. You just never know who is at
the end of his rope.
Well, on June 2001 and we
noticed that the black folks beside us have not learned their lesson in
how to be a better dog owner. These people have gotten themselves another puppy,
and it's not quiet, and it has no shelter. We went through all of this
earlier in the year and animal control had to deal with them...and here they
are, sticking another neglected puppy in their yard. Some folks just never
After a little over a year
of dealing with the barking dog, the black neighbors finally got rid of the
dog....probably around June 2002, give or take.
justice comes in.....there are new neighbors living next to the black folks,
they moved into the pyromaniac's old trailer. The new neighbors have a dog, and
it barks, and I hope it's driving those folks crazy. I hope they now know what
it was like to deal with THEIR dog. I love that we can't really hear the new
neighbor's dog, but the black folks sure can. They deserve it!
What goes around, comes
More Updates and
Adventures With Dogs!