Wednesday, October 31, 2012

California: Family fearful of neighbor's vicious dog

CALIFORNIA -- Josh and Randi Mason say they're frustrated their neighbor's dogs constantly get into their backyard, and the owners don't do anything to stop it. They say the dogs are violent and dug a deep hole in their yard.

"A year ago, we had a dog killed in our backyard. Now, we've had another dog attacked in our backyard, and we don't feel safe back here," said Randi Mason. "We have a two-year-old and a six-month-old, and we want to feel safe in our backyard. We don't feel safe with vicious dogs living behind us that are able to get into our backyard."

Mason said they tried to fix the hole with new fence boards and chicken wire, but lately she said the dogs have turned her yard's playground into a fighting ring. There's still blood on the concrete where, she said, her neighbor's two dogs fought each other.

"The blood was from their dog," she said. "Their dog attacked its own dog."

Bakersfield Animal Control Services took both dogs to the pound Monday, but the Masons said they were back in four hours.

"Nobody's doing anything about them," said Randi Mason. "Animal Control said they wouldn't get them back for ten days and that they would have to pay fines, but a few hours later they were already back."

She said an officer told her if their neighbor's dog attacks them, they can either shoot it or sue the owner. The dogs' owner, Nick Lidgett, said his pets are far from vicious.

"They've never shown any sign of aggression towards anything," said Lidgett, who lives behind the Masons. "I have four small children myself, and they sleep in the house with us every night."

Lidgett took his injured boxer to the vet for a bruised arm. He doesn't believe his mutt, Ginger, was the one who attacked it.

"The animals, in question, going into their backyard come from all sorts," he said. "I'm never going to call anybody a liar, but I wasn't there to witness it. That's their accusation, but I would sit there and argue against it. There are multiple houses around this entire neighborhood and many have dogs."

Bakersfield Animal Control cited Lidgett for unlawful tethering and keeping a noisy animal. He was told to fix the Mason's fence this week. Until then, the Masons are staying inside.

"My two-year-old loves to play out here in her sandbox, and I can't leave her out here, and I don't even want to be out here," Mason says. "Why would I want to be back here knowing that these dogs can get into my backyard, and who knows what they would do to me, my daughter or my dog?"

(KGET - Oct 30, 2012)