Ask a Trooper

Posted: Monday, April 09, 2001

Question: I am having trouble with my neighbor's dog coming into my yard. I have asked the neighbor to chain up the dog repeatedly, but it has done no good. I don't really want to, but do I have the right to destroy the dog?

Answer: Yes, you do, although that shouldn't be anyone's first choice. A.S. 03.55.010-030 states any dog that is annoying wildlife, people or pets while it is roaming free, or any dog that is roaming free and has made an unprovoked bite or attack on a person can be destroyed. It also states that the dog owner, if they can be identified, shall be notified and given a chance to restrain the dog before it is killed.

You should be able to enjoy your yard free of loose and wandering dogs, and children should be able to play in their yard without fear of being scared by a loose dog.

However, troopers strongly encourage you to try and contact the dog's owner and give them a chance to restrain the dog before you kill it. We certainly don't want to have to shoot any dogs, and we don't want you to have to either, but ultimately, it is the pet owner's responsibility to keep their pets out of other people's yards.

Keeping your pet in your yard where it is safe shows you are a responsible pet owner who cares for your pet's safety.

Also, keep in mind that if you do feel you need to destroy a dog, Alaska law prohibits you from shooting on or over a roadway, and from shooting in the direction of buildings or people.

If you have questions you would like to ask a Trooper, send them to Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603 or e-mail them to The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.

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