Wednesday, July 27, 2005

There ought to be a law


(click for larger image)

When your neighbor's cows grow bored with their own several hundred acres and come to visit repeatedly. And erode the creek bank. And pulverize the ground with their hasty retreats. And gaze greedily at your pitiful garden. And smash your favorite crabapple sapling. And overlay the walking path with poop. When they kick at your sweet little doggy when all she's doing is trying to chase them back home.

When the neighbors have to be called a million times before they can be bothered to fix the fence. When you're afraid to leave the house for 4 days because you never know when those *@!%#&^$ cows might be back. And when the neighbors steadfastly refuse to give you a weekend contact number.

Well, in that case, don't you think there ought to be a law providing that the next time the cows come over, you're allowed to just keep one?

23 comments:

Sharfa said...

Either keep one or have the animal control officer pick them up. I'm sure 'bail' for stray cows can really add up, as well as damages to your property. This bonehead might figure out that it's cheaper to fix the fence than to have to keep bailing out the cows.

pablo said...

I'm not sure if it is a law or a code of the hills, but around here, fencing costs are generally shared by the two properties it runs between. Once a year, the landowners meet at the middle of the run of fence. Each turns to the right and marches along the fence. Any repairs that are required are the "responsibility" of the one who finds them. (In your case, you might say to turn left so that the major repair falls to your neighbor.) As I said, I don't think this is a legal requirement but merely a neighborly courtesy. You might suggest it as a resolution to your problem.

Cuppa said...

I think two sounds better. Yes, one for the damage and one for the aggravation.

Do animal control officer's really pick up cows?

Jean said...

very attractive cows, but I don't suppose that's any comfort.

Jer said...

Up at my Mom's cabin in Atlantic City, WY (no, really) they still have open grazing courtesy of the bureau of land management. It's the responsibility of the landowner to put up the fences...even if, say, your land includes a bunch of scraggly creek bottom land.

Now if the cows all had invisible fence collars...

Rurality said...

Sharfa, they just added animal control in this county in the past year. It's one guy. I've seen his truck, and I don't think it would hold a cow! :)

Pablo, that sort of thing would be fine if we both had cows. But I don't really think that we should have to pay for the fence to keep his cows in. Particularly since that is not his residence but his place of business. The fence in question is in the creek, and it goes down every time there is a flood. If he didn't have cows, there would be no need for a fence at all.

Cuppa I can only dream! I had evil little thoughts of driving the cows through the property and down the street. He'd fix that fence right quick. But of course I really didn't do that.

Jean, nope! If they didn't cause so much damage I wouldn't worry so much. Plus some of them have started charging the dog. I'm a little afraid of the bulls too. I'm not familiar enough with cows to know if they're really dangerous or not.

Jer, that sort of thing goes over like a lead balloon in Alabama. Not many open ranges left around here. :)

Deb said...

We have been having major issues with the neighbors' cows too. They are across the road from us, and they come over to drink from our pond and eat chicken and horse feed. Yesterday our yellow lab Lady rolled in one of their deposits. We have been stringing an electric fence across the driveway at night just so they don't come back to the feed bins and my garden. If they ever get into the garden, I'm afraid I'll have to get revenge!

Hick said...

Now, if you would only wear a formal gown when you were chasing away the cows, they may have more respect for you.

...and I thought the deer were bad.

Jenn said...

Yeah. I'd keep one. In my FREEZER.

"Gee. I haven't seen that one lately, it musta gone off somewhere else, I can't imagine where it could have WALKED OFF TO..." Hee hee...

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Some states have laws about whose responsibility it is to maintain fencing for keeping animals in (or out as the law would indicate). I'm sure you've checked what the rules are in Alabama. Since your neighbors are not being quite so neighborly about it-- maybe keeping one of those pretty black cows would get their attention.

weldergirl said...

You might check with our sheriff's dept. if you haven't already.(I'm a fellow Blount countian)They can be held responsible if their livestock or any other animal they own, damages your property. they can be made to replace your saplings etc. Same thing if their dog were to come over and you catch it killing your chickens or something like that. You have proof in the photos!

Rainypete said...

I'd be tempted to find a place to hide the cows for a few days. Once secured you then head over to their house with a nice beef roast and say, sorry this is all taht was left after the barbecue on the weekend.

Let them stew for a bit then return the cows and tell them the next time it will be for real!!

Sure it'll cost a few dollars for the roast but the look on their face would be priceless.

swamp4me said...

Cows! Ugh.

Possession is 9/10ths, don't you know. Sounds like it's time for steak all around. :)

yllstonewolf said...

i love RP's idea! it would be worth the effort to see the look on their face. i don't know the law there, but here in the west you must fence the cows....OUT!!!

Rhodent said...

I'm with Weldergirl... Call the Sheriff!!!

Clare said...

Rurality,

The Law ....

http://www.legislature.state.al.us/CodeofAlabama/1975/3-5-2.htm

... such as it is. You should also check out the other statutes in the section before opting for the steak option.

Good luck...

Floridacracker said...

Hey, I feel your pain. We have had a mystery herd of (not wild) pigs show up and eat our collards, a mystery cow that trampled my newly planted pines, and a frisky horse complete with frantic family trying to catch it on our place. Too be absolutely honest, we were the culprits once when our 2 FFA fair pigs got out while we were away. The neighbors had them arrested...in a nice way. Our county has a wrangler on contract and he gets the call when mystery livestock show up uninvited.
...we got our pigs back.

Watchmania said...

The flashbacks ... the flashbacks ... when I was a tiny weeny toddler, my dad helped me plant and grow a cabbage. It was the first thing I ever grew in my life. I was so proud. Then an accursed cow the size of a diplodocus (well, relative to 3 year old me) broke in to our vegetable and munched my cabbage. It's one of my earliest and most tragic memories :-(

Rurality said...

Well I know I am getting to be an old fogey when I say that what upsets me the most is what I perceive as the neighbor's rudeness! I've never spoken to the actual owner, just his secretary or workers. I've asked them 3 times for a weekend contact number, since the business isn't open then and no one's there, but it appears that they don't want to be bothered on the weekend. (The cows don't have calendars.)

They haven't been over again so either the fence is fixed now or they moved the cows to another pasture. Whew. But I worry that when my mother comes to critter-sit for us, that she'll have to be out there chasing cows. I don't want her to have to do that, which is why I really need a weekend contact number!

Deb I guess I should be grateful that so far Jasmine has only shown an interest in duck and chicken poop. :)

Hick I'm not sure why I didn't think of that. It would surely be a scary thing.

Jenn yep those were the evil little thoughts I was thinking. Sometimes it just helps to daydream!

RD Clare looked it up for me - there is a law but not much of a penalty unfortunately.

Waving at Weldergirl! I didn't realize you were from Blount Co also. Even thought I'm irritated, I don't really want to cause a big fuss. Mainly because I realize the shoe could be on the other foot if Jasmine weren't so afraid of water... she'd be over there visiting their cows all the time. And I'd hope they'd be understanding about it. The big difference is that I'd at least call to apologize!

Pete you are so much worse than me! :) That sounds like a good way to get shot!

Swampy the cows are nice lawnmowers I guess. But I'd rather hubby do the job. If I were going to get cows I might get something like the Dexters - miniature cows!

Anne, no open range in Alabama! One of the big differences between the east & west I suppose.

Rho - well I did meet the sheriff's Mama recently... think that would help? :) I can see it now... "Could you ask your son to get these cows out of here?" LOL.

Clare you are so smart. I was surprised to read that the monetary damages could be no more than $50 ($25 to the damagee)!

Floridacracker, I guess it could be a lot worse. I'm not sure if I could herd pigs. :)

Sara I'm trying to protect what's left of my pitiful garden... at least we're getting okra! The cows were in it in the early spring but mostly just stomped on things instead of eating them.

jenni said...

you should definately be able to keep one. or at least milk them. i know...charge rent! i still love the photo though. so peaceful.

L said...

I believe it used to be common to have laws covering similar situations...

Wayne said...

I suggest the purchase of an air rifle, one that can be pumped once, three or four times, or up to ten times depending on your degree of irritation. Aim for the rumps; cows are tough, and it won't damage them, but it will sting and they hate that. A few little confrontations will train them away. Our neighbors who keep cows are much more considerate but iin the early days they'd break away and come visit. This worked like a charm to send them back the way they came.

I see no reason for your valorous dog, or you, to run the risk of physically engaging an aggressive cow that decides to stand its ground.

And your mom will love playing the role of porch-setting critter-sitting frontierwoman, complete with rifle.

If it works for deer it will work for cows.

beetlecat said...

Wow, this is terribly rude and I guess if it were me, I'd probably end up in some trouble. I don't know how much trouble one can get into for shooting animals that repeatedly tresspass on their property but that's probably what I'd end up doing since being neighborly obviously doesn't work.

I'll be moving out to the country here soon (I hope) and I don't intend on having to tolerate anyone's rudeness when it comes to my property. Hopefully, I won't have to.

Good luck with those cows.