Dispute With Neighbor

tnrmakessense

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I am in an upstairs condo and my downstairs neighbor of 15 years set up a trap on her porch yesterday. She had it delivered by animal control.

This woman is unreasonable, unsympathetic, lies, and is paranoid to the point of being delusional.

That said, she also values money above all else. It went through my mind that I could offer her a car cover (she's sure cats are getting on her car) and some cash if she'll send the trap back and drop complaints against cats. On the other hand, it could be opening a Pandora's box since if you offer a dime, she wants a dollar.

I'm reaching out for an attorney with animal dispute experience to consult, but wondered if anyone out there had a similar experience and what the outcome was.
 

fionasmom

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This is off the top of my head, and I may not be seeing all angles, but I usually think that trying to deal with these animal haters in some reasonable way is not a bad idea. Is the car cover the most of it? She doesn't care about the cats if they leave her car alone? How likely is she to try to extort more money from you or blackmail you? Will she leave all the cats alone in exchange for this?
 

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Are these cats house pets that are allowed to roam free? Or are they strays/ferals?

If house pets, the answer is to warn their guardians and maybe they'll start keeping them inside where they belong. If the latter, tell your neighbor thank you for helping TNR the colony.
 
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tnrmakessense

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This is off the top of my head, and I may not be seeing all angles, but I usually think that trying to deal with these animal haters in some reasonable way is not a bad idea. Is the car cover the most of it? She doesn't care about the cats if they leave her car alone? How likely is she to try to extort more money from you or blackmail you? Will she leave all the cats alone in exchange for this?
There's just no telling. When we had the drain repair dispute she told the office I'd created the leak on purpose.Then she lied on court documents when she sued me.
 
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tnrmakessense

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Are these cats house pets that are allowed to roam free? Or are they strays/ferals?

If house pets, the answer is to warn their guardians and maybe they'll start keeping them inside where they belong. If the latter, tell your neighbor thank you for helping TNR the colony.
Not helpful or logical. Even if you believe owned cats shouldn't be outdoors, they don't deserve to lose their lives if they are.I served on the animal control board in our county and the number of cats euthanized almost exactly matched the number brought in in traps so telling my neighbor thank you for "helping TNR" is as far from fact as you can get.
 

Heart For Cats

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Is your neighbor just complaining is actively abusing the cats? If she is doing the latter, you should sue her. Just complaining cats ae on her car, however. will get you nowhere through legal action.
 

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Get legal advice. She sued you? I answer a lot of people who have cat haters around and some who have a neighbor who just does not want them around even though they don’t actively hate them. If you can, you educate people to the positive reasons for TNR and the advantages to having cats as pest control. One of my neighbors actually missed the ferals when they were no longer available. If you can build a positive relationship, that’s always best! If the woman simply wants her car protected, get her to agree to a good car cover for signing a legal agreement not to pursue any action against you or cats. It’s worth a try. An attorney could advise you on the best route to take before making her any offers. I actually worked with the people at animal control and law enforcement to be sure that I had their blessings and support. From there I broadened my networking to protect myself and the cats. I just spoke to another person about a very similar situation. You are not alone. Many people just don’t understand or don’t care. If you have not contacted groups like BestFriends or Alleycat allies, I would. Go to their websites too. They are fighting for cats and cat guardians. Look around, there are some very strong supportive groups out there.
 

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Not helpful or logical. Even if you believe owned cats shouldn't be outdoors, they don't deserve to lose their lives if they are.I served on the animal control board in our county and the number of cats euthanized almost exactly matched the number brought in in traps so telling my neighbor thank you for "helping TNR" is as far from fact as you can get.
You missed my point. If you tell the neighbors a woman is setting traps for cats and what happens to the cats if taken to the shelter, there’s a chance the neighbors will start keeping their cats inside.

If you tell the woman “thank you for participating in TNR”, you let her know you’re aware of the situation and can offer to take any trapped cats off her hands, again increasing your chances of saving cats lives.

If you can’t see warning the neighbors as helpful, or leveraging TNR as logical, all I can do is wish you the best of luck.
 

moxiewild

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I think Jcatbird Jcatbird is spot on.

Offering to purchase a car cover is frequently suggested for conflict resolution with neighbors.

Neighbor mad about cats on her car? Buy her a car cover.

Neighbor mad about cats pooping in their yard? Buy them some humane deterrents and set up a sandbox in your yard.

Neighbor mad about the cat digging up their garden? Buy the neighbor a scat mat, etc.

You’re certainly on the right track.

I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. We just had a neighbor yell obscenities at us at one of our colonies, and another person just wrote a note threatening to trap and relocate the cats in one of our other colonies.

This “people problem” is truly never ending :(
 
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tnrmakessense

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I think Jcatbird Jcatbird is spot on.

Offering to purchase a car cover is frequently suggested for conflict resolution with neighbors.

Neighbor mad about cats on her car? Buy her a car cover.

Neighbor mad about cats pooping in their yard? Buy them some humane deterrents and set up a sandbox in your yard.

Neighbor mad about the cat digging up their garden? Buy the neighbor a scat mat, etc.

You’re certainly on the right track.

I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. We just had a neighbor yell obscenities at us at one of our colonies, and another person just wrote a note threatening to trap and relocate the cats in one of our other colonies.

This “people problem” is truly never ending :(
Thank you for your support and I'm sorry you're getting such abuse.
 
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tnrmakessense

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Get legal advice. She sued you? I answer a lot of people who have cat haters around and some who have a neighbor who just does not want them around even though they don’t actively hate them. If you can, you educate people to the positive reasons for TNR and the advantages to having cats as pest control. One of my neighbors actually missed the ferals when they were no longer available. If you can build a positive relationship, that’s always best! If the woman simply wants her car protected, get her to agree to a good car cover for signing a legal agreement not to pursue any action against you or cats. It’s worth a try. An attorney could advise you on the best route to take before making her any offers. I actually worked with the people at animal control and law enforcement to be sure that I had their blessings and support. From there I broadened my networking to protect myself and the cats. I just spoke to another person about a very similar situation. You are not alone. Many people just don’t understand or don’t care. If you have not contacted groups like BestFriends or Alleycat allies, I would. Go to their websites too. They are fighting for cats and cat guardians. Look around, there are some very strong supportive groups out there.
Thank you. I've reached out to all that you mentioned as well as local TNR groups and the ALDF. I think attorney referral must be a delicate subject from the response I've been getting. I think I'll broaden my search. Thanks again for weighing in. I value your advice and respect all that you've done.
 

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Attorney referral is tough to get sometimes but keep looking! Maybe try to look up some who have been publicized as taking animal rights cases? Thank you for the compliment. Truthfully, I just don’t want to give up on any cat or cat guardian. We need you! We need thousands more just like you! We need to out number those who want to get rid of cats. I think we do! Get recruits if you can. A group of guardians together feeding would make it harder to complain or cause problems. Friendly is best so I hope that can happen. At least a truce? Good luck and keep us posted.
 

fionasmom

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When I google "animal lawyers" a lot come up, of course, many in CA. Also, no clue how good anyone is. However, I wonder if you could have an online or phone conversation with an attorney, even if out of state about this. It may not require that many calls to get an answer as to what to do.
 
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