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Trespassing with Property Damage

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Just Blue

Senior Member
While I would normally point out that trespass itself can incur punitive damages, I think any jury in the country would excuse trespass by two teenagers rescuing their dog from a live trap.
Which would not have happened if the owners of the dogs took proper care of them. ;):)


Junior Member
While I would normally point out that trespass itself can incur punitive damages, I think any jury in the country would excuse trespass by two teenagers rescuing their dog from a live trap.
While I agree, this isn't because we want to see 2 kids get in trouble.

- the parents told the officers that they would pay the damages if we didn't press charges
- i agreed to not pursue the matter on the condition that they paid
- the officer said that i could call him if it did not happen
- i called & was told to give it more time, then he was away for a month, then the case was closed
- i feel that this in some way sends the message that it's acceptable behavior

We also recently found out that the father crosses the front portion of our property without our permission on a regular basis. It is not fenced, but clearly posted every 5 to 10 feet at the boundary line.

At this point, we don't want them to step one foot onto our property, so we'll probably get pictures of that and start over with charges. I certainly don't want anyone to try to establish a right of way & claim they have a right to cross because they've been doing so for X number of years.

What if these kids had gotten hurt on our property? Wouldn't that open us up to a lawsuit? I don't think that's outside the realm of possibility, especially since he attempted to sue another neighbor for vet bills after his male dog went to the other man's property & got in a fight with his dog. He also threatened a different neighbor with a lawsuit because some of his chickens disappeared. This neighbor keeps his 2 dogs either in the house or in a fenced in backyard.

As for taking care of the dogs, these people allow their dogs to breed every 6 months then don't contain them. We had no idea they were this far back on the property, but we've had to dodge them on the road & at the front of our property. This is not the first incident, but the second, and we had no idea it was a kid breaking the trap for a puppy - we thought it was one of the bears that come through or perhaps a coyote. If they had only told us this or left a note, we'd never have bothered with a second trap & a camera because we had no idea we were catching puppies.

And, within 30 minutes of them releasing the puppy, you see all 5 dogs back down there. Now that the camera is up, you see them middle of the night and at all times of the day. In fact, it's so often, I don't know how they even knew the puppy was missing. Unfortunately, there is no leash law in the county and only 1 month out of the year when it's illegal to let your dogs run at large. On the other hand, you can legally shoot dogs if you feel threatened or they harass or kill your livestock. We don't want to kill anyone's dog.

The father also told the game warden that he's been down there plenty of other times to release the puppies - only he reset the trap so that we'd never know. I don't know how true that is because the first trap was damaged within a week and the second within 48 hours, and he's lied about all kinds of other things like we set traps & never checked them (one of is there everyday because we have livestock on site), that we were transporting animals to other counties (we've released the few things we've every caught), that our dogs run all over his property & he called us (we've never spoken to him before & our dogs don't run loose on that property), and a few other things.

Between the fact that this shows a pattern of behavior and that the father wants to make sure we know he has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, we want to do everything we can to keep the entire family as far away from us as possible. We just have to figure out how to do that and stay within our legal limits.

Rant & story over. I'll update when we decide on a course of action, or if we don't do anything, even if it makes me look like a complete fool. And, yes, I realize that the effort & expense will not be worth the monetary return.


Junior Member
deleted - i quoted the code that said we were legally trapping as landowners (we can kill or trap if the animals are posing a danger or nuisance) but then saw how searchable this site is on google.

i don't want this to come up in case the other party searches the statute i'm going to supply once i confirm it's not outdated on monday.
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