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Can I file harassment charges against my neighbor for taunting my dogs?

Ephrata, WA |

For four months my neighbor behind me has been yelling at my dogs, spraying them with a hose, blowing a whistle and approaching them at the fence in a taunting way. walking towards fence, stopping & staring. Turns around to walk away, stops & turns towards the dogs & stares) We have asked her to not blow the whistle because two of them are hunting dogs, trained with a whistle & tried explaining that to her. We asked her to not spray them with the hose too. My step son was picking up the backward & she came out & started yelling at him about the dogs. After that we caught her blowing the whistle again a month later. We asked her again to stop blowing the whistle she told us to shut up. I called the cops to let them know. Next day,cops were called on us & a citation was issued on us

The officer who left the note stated that three other neighbors came to him and complained about our dogs. Yet none of them called to complain. To me it seems it wasn't a big enough issue to call one and the cop being there was just convenient. Not once have any of the neighbors told me about the dogs barking while we are gone. We never called the cops regarding her blowing the whistle and spraying because we thought we would ask her the first time to stop and if she continued then we would take further action. Once we did the cops were finally called. I feel like she is retaliating.

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Attorney answers 3


You can escalate this neighbor dispute by seeking a civil restraining order, and she can escalate it further by calling the police and animal control about your (3? more than 3?) barking dogs which you apparently keep in your yard.

If you kept them inside, there'd be no problem, but you're the vulnerable one here as long as you keep your dogs outside where they apparently burden your neighbors with their noise. You don't mention what your citation was for, but you can expect more of them same. Since these are your neighbors that you have to live next to, I'd adopt a more cooperative attitude.

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I agree with my colleague - you have two issues and the first and foremost is addressing the issue of your dogs barking and disturbing the neighbors. As for the second issue of the neighbor blowing a whistle, spraying, etc, you have several options - first, address the dogs' barking, second, find some way to create privacy around the fence so she can't see the dogs, third, speak with a local attorney regarding your options. The Washington State Bar Association can give you a referral:

If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.


It is wrong of your neighbor to taunt and spray your dogs. It is also wrong of you to allow your dogs to bark and create a nuisance in your neighborhood. If you kept your dogs from barking, you probably wouldn't have that problem.

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