A few days ago, a nice county police officer came to my door to warn me about one of our neighbors. Apparently, a gentleman down the road has been seeing our dogs on their chases and is very unhappy about the situation.
I’ve discussed here before, I think, how smart and stubborn the Maremmas are. They have a job to do, and they are damn well determined to do it. The problem is, when they are chasing off predators or patrolling their domain, they’ve begun to cut a wider swath. We’ve spent thousands on efforts to improve the fencing, keep them with the flock. They’ve busted under, through, and over welded wire and chain link. We’ve even resorted to putting them on long chains when we’ve been desperate in the past. This does nothing but make them a bit crazy; and then they broke the chains.
So when the nice officer came to the door I was already at my wit’s end with the situation myself. The thing is, our county is almost entirely zoned for agriculture. As such, there are no leash laws or noise ordinances, and we are, in fact, required by the state to have protections (such as guardians) in place for our livestock. He reiterated that I had done nothing wrong, and that he realized that my dogs were absolutely not a threat.
However, this one man down the street has stated he will shoot my dogs if he sees them again.
Unfortunately, he is within his rights to do so if he claims he feels threatened by them.
We have had a GPS tracker on Orzo’s collar for a little over a month now, and I can tell you, that although they have been known to chase deer, coyotes, and foxes down towards that man’s house, they are never there for more than a few moments and they come right back. In addition, Orzo’s GPS movements show him in that area maybe 3 times last month.
We are not talking about an every day nuisance.
Either way, we are at a crossroads. We either need much, much better fencing in place or we need to decide we can no longer keep animals here. I can’t imagine losing them or giving them up. Working dogs or not, they have become part of our family.
We can’t pack up and move. Our house is still “under water” as it were, in terms of value. We are here for the foreseeable future, come what may.
We need as much help as we can get. We have decided to start a gofundme page in the hopes that we can raise enough money to put up a good, solid fence. This will not be cheap; we have just under 5 acres to enclose and we can’t simply do horse fence and welded wire anymore. We need high, solid panels.
I am hoping to have a professional estimate soon; in the meantime I am setting a goal that, although it looks super high, is probably a low ball estimate.
I will be posting a link shortly. If you can give, even a little bit, we will forever be grateful. But please, share, and share widely. Share with your animal – loving friends. Share with small farm supporters. Share with anyone and everyone.
And thank you for coming by here and sharing a bit in our lives. If we can get this accomplished, you’re all invited to the celebration.
ETA: HERE’S THE LINK!
There’s also now a widget on the right hand side of the blog main page.
I hate that you are in this situation – there has to be some understanding on the part of neighbors living in an agriculture area. I wish I could buy your neighbor’s property – I would love to see your guard dogs running and working.
I agree with Torre. I’m sorry I can’t contribute at this time but I do have a suggestion. Any chance you can meet this fellow, introduce him to the animals, and show him how important the dogs are, and can be helpful to him too? Maybe he won’t be so threatened if he sees that they can be friendly. Good luck.
We’ve tried talking to everyone around us. Unfortunately, Neve was riding her bike down the road with Lucy at her side, and a man came out on his porch as they were passing and yelled some unkind curses at her. At my 11 year old daughter.
I’m pretty sure that’s the guy who’s now threatening them. So, a heart to heart probably won’t do any good.
Sounds like he’s more of a threat to everyone else! So sorry there are people like that.