Police have cited a Long Lots Road dog owner for two counts of failure to license following a complaint lodged by a neighbor who told authorities that a black Labrador mix next door had been “menacing” her “for a long time,” records show.
On Aug. 19, according to the menaced neighbor, the 6-year-old Labrador-Australian shepherd mixed-breed dog “charged up to” the woman “at her mailbox and she was afraid to move.”
Eventually “she spoke softly to the dog and it backed away, then she returned to her home shaking in fear,” according to an incident report from the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section, obtained by NewCanaanite.com through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The following day, she lodged a formal complaint with Animal Control. In it, the neighbor said the dog “runs after vehicles and anyone walking by the yard, but there have been multiple incidents wherein the dog did not adhere to the electric fence and comes out onto the shared driveway chasing people,” according to the police report.
She showed Animal Control 18 emails going back four years—they include many responses with an apology and assurances “that it will not happen again” from the dog’s owner—and said that there also “were multiple phone calls of which she has no record,” according to the report.
Officer Allyson Halm, head of the Animal Control section, traveled the next afternoon, Aug. 20 (a Sunday) to the Long Lots Drive home and “a black Lab mix barked and charged toward the Animal Control van, while a golden retriever approached wagging its tail,” the report said.
“Several older children were playing in the yard and [the dog’s owner] quickly came toward me. I asked if it was safe with the dogs, to exit the vehicle and was told ‘yes.’ ”
Yet even as they spoke—including about the fact that neither dog had been licensed with the town—the Lab mix “was running the property line barking at a passerby,” the report said.
Told that neighbors have filed complaints about being frightened, the dog’s owner agreed.
Halm told her that “it is her responsibility to control the dog and if it means the dog can no longer use the electric fence, they will have to walk the dog on leash or legally tether it while it is outside so that it no longer frightens people who think he may attack them.”
No tickets were issued for the nuisance complaint, according to the report, but Halm noted that she told the owner to “please license both dogs this week and do something to correct [the Lab mix] so no additional legal action need be taken.”
Even so, Halm checked with the Town Clerk’s office 10 days later and still neither dog had been licensed, leading to two counts of Failure to License, which includes a fine.