Neighbor's dogs knocked over fence, mauled other neighbor's dog in front of my kid. Can I do anything?

Fiscal

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I'm in a small town in Santa Fe . I was walking down the sidewalk with my two-year old son and my girlfriend's dog (a border collie) on a leash. I do it pretty often. The neighbors (very humble family with little money that probably live on government assistance ) have a dog they let live out in their front yard (common in Argentina) and always follow me when I walk with my son. Not my dog but what am I going to do? It always follows me. About 50 meters from my house is a some sort of business/store with a dirt driveway/parking lot about twenty meters long from the sidewalk to a chain link fence.

The neighbor's dog (super friendly, loves everyone and all dogs and cats) that is following me runs over to the chain link fence, and in an attempt to play runs back and forth parallel to the fence. Then my son runs over following the dog, and I am yelling "Luca, come back!!" Suddenly, the two dogs behind the chain link fence knock the fence completely over, pinning the neighbor's dog under the fence and start attacking the neighbor's dog through the fence in the worst way possible. Never seen a dog fight and never want to see one again, it was terrible, it was like lions on an antelope. Really gruesome, and the poor dog is screaming in a way I've never heard a dog scream.

I start yelling for help. It is a small town so one is on the street. My son is right next to this dog fight because he had followed the neighbor's dog. He is screaming and crying. My own dog is going crazy on the leash. I run over, grab my son and put him over to the side. I drop the leash of my dog, and start trying to separate these two dogs attacking the neighbor's dog but I can't. They are big. Kicking them in the head doesn't work. I keep screaming for help. Finally someone from across the street comes over and grabs my son and runs back to the other side of the street because he is so freaked out by this. One of the two dogs starts attacking my own dog, which I don't have control of anymore because I dropped the leash. It is just a mess. My kid is crying like a maniac. I am able to get my dog, I pick it up, run it across the street.

Then I run back and the two dogs are still attacking my neighbor's dog, who is pinned to the ground and all bloody. I kick the dogs as hard as I can but they won't stop. I know it is stupid but I grab one with all my strength to push it off but it just jumps back on my neighbor's dog, which I am not sure how it is even still alive. Finally I take my backpack (that I use to carry my kid's diapers and water bottle) and start smashing the two dogs over the head until they get off, and the neighbor's dog limps off. No one knows where she went, I'm pretty worried she is dead.

I take my kid and dog back. Then I go back to this business and leave a note with my phone number. Then a car drives up, it is the owner and his wife. I tell him what happens, and that if he has vicious dogs he needs to fix his fence. He tells me it isn't his problem if someone else's dog comes up to his property. I said well it is your problem when you don't have a fence in good condition and they can just knock it over and start attacking. "You can't leave your fence like that, it's a danger to everyone. What if the dogs came after my kid? Fix your fence. If you don't have the money, I'll pay for it, but don't leave hazards like this." He says, "my dogs are puppies, they won't attack people, they are friendly." Then his wife yells at me, "Why was your son on our property?" And I said, he's two years old, we live in a tiny village, he ran 20 meters in front of me. They yell at me to take better care of my kid. I respond, "My kid doesn't t deserve the death sentence from two giant dogs because he dared to step on to your front yard." The wife and husband stop talking to me and go inside their business and lock the door.

Is there anything I can actually do? Feel terrible for the neighbor's dog. I mean it is true it was his property the neighbor's dog and my kid ran on to.
 

nikad

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I am sorry your son had to witness all of that. Unfortunately a lot of people have dogs for protection and there have been numerous incidents and attacks. It is a shame that being in a small town, they did not care about their neighbors. I am not sure what can be done, other than trying to write another note and maybe engage other neighbors, just so they fix the fence, maybe point out that you have to look after each other and not just yourself and expose the rest to whatever threat you keep in your property for protection. Not sure if they go to church or have kids themselves. Try to get them to have some empathy. You could go to the police and talk to them, explain the threat, maybe one of them eventually tries to talk to them ( low expectations ).
 

Fiscal

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I am sorry your son had to witness all of that. Unfortunately a lot of people have dogs for protection and there have been numerous incidents and attacks. It is a shame that being in a small town, they did not care about their neighbors. I am not sure what can be done, other than trying to write another note and maybe engage other neighbors, just so they fix the fence, maybe point out that you have to look after each other and not just yourself and expose the rest to whatever threat you keep in your property for protection. Not sure if they go to church or have kids themselves. Try to get them to have some empathy. You could go to the police and talk to them, explain the threat, maybe one of them eventually tries to talk to them ( low expectations ).

Thanks, I was thinking about that, but the problem is I have so little leverage. Realistically, two year old kids in a small town run around, and they will run into other people's front yards. And realistically, people leave their dogs/street dogs outside all the time. Legally, my kid and this dog ran onto his land, so I suppose he was well within his rights if his dogs killed the "trespassing street dog."

I'm considering filing a demanda, but since it is unlikely I will and if I lose I pay his attorneys' fees, it is really no deterrent at all to him.
 

Ronnie Hotdogs

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Not your fault that the neighbours dog wasn’t on a lead.

Keep hold of your boys hand if you know there’s dangerous dogs nearby.
 

nikad

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Thanks, I was thinking about that, but the problem is I have so little leverage. Realistically, two year old kids in a small town run around, and they will run into other people's front yards. And realistically, people leave their dogs/street dogs outside all the time. Legally, my kid and this dog ran onto his land, so I suppose he was well within his rights if his dogs killed the "trespassing street dog."

I'm considering filing a demanda, but since it is unlikely I will and if I lose I pay his attorneys' fees, it is really no deterrent at all to him.
As harsh as it may sound those dogs served their purpose, it is not that they run out of the property and attacked. It might be easier to teach your son to avoid getting close to fences, etc when playing outside :(.Those two dogs were well trained and never left the property, which is usually the biggest concern, that is probably why the owners won't be bothered.
 

jeff1234

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Same thing but on a smaller scale happened to me in Florida. The woman who owned the dog yelled 'they are only puppies, their bites aren't serious', meantime the victim bog is bleeding from many bites.
 

Iznogud

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Terrible situation.
Unfortunately, there's no easy solution and responsibility lies with both dog owners. Not the animals.

Do not expect any help or understanding from the neighbors or the Police. It's not their job.

My suggestion is you start carrying a walking stick/cane.

Iz
 

¡Sencillamente yo!

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Fiscal,

Quite the series of events. (Very well described.)

You are in Argentina, not EE UU. Things function very different. (I doubt you have much, if any recourse.)

The absolute best thing you can do (GOING FORWARD!) is to expect the unexpected and prioritize the safety of your child, followed by your pet.

Avoid and stay away from danger as best you can.

Give up on trying to change people, their practices or the way they think, act and behave. Simply not worth the effort.

Take a me and mine attitude and ignore every thing else.
 

sts7049

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i dont think there is anything you can or should do

the best i can see is trying to pursue some kind of negligence claim for having a shitty fence but this is rural argentina, not the USA. if they had hurt your kid that would be a whole different story. but it didn't (physically anyway)
 

Somewhereinba

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Speaking of laws here is there anything particular foreigners should know etc - self defence laws and what it allowed/not etc... I have heard nightmare stories about thieves robbing houses and ending up coming out worst for wear (or dead) and the home owner getting prosecuted...
 
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