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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003

    Default Animal Control Question

    A bit of background. I live on 30 acres up a bad dirt road in the middle of nowhere. The access to maybe a dozen houses above me crosses my land. It's a private road, an easement that I choose to grant them.

    I keep horses at home. My pasture fence bounds the private road, and about 12 acres of my land is on the other side of the road, open and unfenced rangeland.

    Amongst my assorted equines, I have a very small Sh*tland pony (says it all, really.)

    Monday morning, I got to work, 40 miles away, and a neighbor calls to tell me said pony is out, standing by the road. She is not a horse person by any stretch of the imagination so I don't ask her to capture him and put him back in the field... So I leap in my car and burn rubber up the freeway, am home in half an hour. Round up said pony, who is standing next to the fence, with his buddies the other side, and am walking him down the road to my driveway when Animal Control rolls up.

    She can't leave fast enough when she realizes I am pony's owner and she doesn't have anything to deal with...

    Now, I'm not condoning pony being in the road, (I had forgotten to turn the electric fence back on after I'd fed that morning) but, pony was still on my property, even if outside a fence, so I don't think AC would have had a leg to stand on if they had got there before me and decided to be problematic, do you?

    I'd love to know who called them rather than calling me. They just might lose their easement rights...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Lorena, Texas


    Did you talk to the ACO (Animal Control Officer) at all or was it 'hey, this one is mine' and she took off? I am asking because I'm curious as to what she said....

    Laws and the way ACOs work vary from state to state, but here if someone thought a horse was out, they would call the sheriff's department who would send either an ACO or livestock officer out (or possibly a deputy if they don't have an ACO or livestock officer).

    In my experience, if they find what appears to be a stray horse they first ask neighbors trying to find out where the horse goes - because they don't want to take the horse. If they can't find the owner, then they'll impound the horse and then the law's stray/estray law kicks in. In Texas, they have to search for an owner for either 18 or 21 days (I ALWAYS have to look at the law, I don't know why I cannot remember the number) and have to advertise the found animal(s) in public locations and newspapers. In other states, the law is different.

    I know you said you have the unfenced property/rangeland on one side - it is clear that that's still YOUR property/private property? Does it have a perimeter fence? Giving the caller the benefit of the doubt, if it wasn't clear - maybe they thought the horse was lose and didn't know who else to call...
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004


    Unless you are in a "fence out" state, then said pony would still count as "loose livestock."

    BTW, not sure what sort of "trouble" AC was going to cause...cause if they were going to cause it, she most likely would have written you a ticket right then and there.

    Someone called because they saw a pony running wild and free and didn't want ANYONE, pony or human, getting hurt. If I was non-horsey, I would do the same thing. (Or rather, I'd call the police, since there is no AC in my area.) Unless it's something that happens frequently, I highly doubt you were in any sort of trouble. People understand loose animals happen now and then.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    The rocky part of KY


    Maybe whoever it was didn't have your number handy? The UPS guy or something? Because that's the first thing you do if you can't get the owner is call AC.

    I had to once because the neighbors I thought most likely to be responsible for the loose pony had changed their phone number and all I got was an out of service message. I could have dialed the wrong number to start with too, I was a bit rattled.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007


    Once my neighbor's horse stuck his foot in the middle of his fence and got stuck-the UPS driver drove by and saw him stuck there but didn't know what to do so he called AC... when AC arrived the UPS driver and I were cutting the horse out of the fence. He just didn't know what else to do and was skeered of horses. lol

    Maybe it was something harmless like that. Maybe call AC in a couple days and ask them the what's if's of the situation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2011
    Just west of BFE


    Curious as to how this would go down in an open range state? Neighbor had a herd of goats that was basically free range, she owns almost 2 full sections. They were never off her land, but they would frequently cross a county road to get to her other section. She never got in trouble, but I don't know if you are an open range state.

    BTW, she quit letting them roam after the oilfield traffic clipped a couple.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Saddle View Post
    Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2006


    AC doesn't even come out when horses next door get out. Her horses have gotten out so many times. Her fence is not really a fence. he has one electric tape around and has never ever been turned on. Started a wood fence and started it two years ago hasn't worked on it in so long. When the grass runs out the horses will be stepping over the tape again. So low in places I can step over it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Fort Worth, Texas


    Post a sign at the entrance of the road where it adjoins the public road stating that the road is private... and if AC had issued something just go to court and get it thrown out as the animal was never off your land. ... and never provide an easement across your land again, please

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2004
    Louisville, KY


    No, I don't think you have anything to worry about as far as AC goes. However, unless you know for a fact that all 12 of the people that use the road A) know your number B) have your number stored in their cell phones for easy access while driving, I would frankly be glad that someone cared enough to try to make sure nothing happened to the pony. They probably just called 911 or the sherriff on their way down the road.
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 8, 2007
    North Carolina


    Quote Originally Posted by ReSomething View Post
    Maybe whoever it was didn't have your number handy? The UPS guy or something? Because that's the first thing you do if you can't get the owner is call AC.
    This. Anyone who didnt know who's pony it was or what your number was could have called. I wouldnt jump to the conclusion that it was someone trying to cause trouble. Im sure they were just concerned for the pony.

    I dont think you have anything to worry about with AC. A similar situation happened to me not long ago but the pony ended up in the street off the property. Police and AC were there and they were just happy to have found the owner. Animals get out sometimes, accidents happen.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007


    Around here, cattle get out regularly.
    Some don't keep fences up, some cattle happen to rub a gate down, or knock a fence down when something scares them.

    Anyone knows to try to put the cattle in, or at least get them out of the highways and call the owner or the sheriff, so they send a deputy over to see what the situation is.

    We get calls from the sheriff to help with stray cattle in our area, to help get them penned and find who the owners may be.

    Here, animal control is called for small animals, but for large ones, only when abused, mishandled or abandoned.
    If some are found wandering and need a place to stay and attention, that is when animal control comes in, called by the sheriff.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
    south eastern US


    I'd guess that someone who doesn't know your number may have the seen the critter and called AC. I suspect that granting an easement is a lot easier that retracting it. Where I live someone HAS to grant an easment to land locked properties. Else courts get involved and it gets messy.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get


    Quote Originally Posted by PRS View Post
    I'd guess that someone who doesn't know your number may have the seen the critter and called AC.
    This gets my vote too.

    When I first moved to my farmette, I awakened one morning to 4 loose sheep grazing on my lawn.
    We are all small acreages around here, but I was new and had no idea which neighbor to call or even their names.

    Since my place is just a mile or so from a busy highway, I called the PD, who directed me to the DNR, who told me to pen them

    I managed to lure the sheep with a bucket of birdseed into my rickety-fenced former henyard (I did not have chickens at the time, former owners had) and in the meantime neighbors' kids on an ATV came by looking for their wandering 4H project.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005


    I agree with PRS about the easement, and in many jurisdictions an easement or property encroachment (fence or building built over the line) of a certain age makes it permanent and the other person's property.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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