Big Trouble If Your Dog Bites a Utility Employee on Your Property


Q: We now have three dogs which are inside and out of doors dogs. In the course of the day, now we have them outside playing while we’re at work. The difficulty we’re having just isn’t with the dogs, but with the utility company that got here to do some work in my backyard last week. Two of my dogs are very friendly, but one may be very mean (Teaky). The utility man got here over unannounced, and got within the back yard, and was trapped because Teaky wouldn’t let him move from the gas meter. I used to be home sick and needed to rescue the employee. He threatened my dog, and said that if he got closer he was going to hit him together with his wrench. How do I keep the utility people out of my property? Who should I report him to for his threat? I feel he should lose his job, since he was trespassing. Lori in Oklahoma City, OK.

A: Lori – Lori – Lori… The reality is that your utility employee was really not trespassing. Most states have passed laws to guard public employees who by definition of their jobs have to enter into your backyard, or walk through your front yard, etc. The reality is that they’re assaulted by dogs every day, they usually should be protected, as much as you do. Your dog was doing his job, and so was the utility person. Nice combination!

Because you’re in Oklahoma, you will need to know that your state passed HB2813 in 2006 which protects these professionals against dog attacks, and dictates punishment to dog owner that allow their dog to assault these employees (this bill speaks of fines and possible imprisonment for the dog owners). So, let’s now make peace with the good utility person, he has a troublesome job because it is. I’d suggest that you simply call the utility company and ask once they routinely need to enter your property, in order that you might keep Brutus in a protected place. Utility firms welcome these calls, and can work with you on scheduling a protected time for his or her worker to go to you.

This just isn’t a battle you’ll win – so let’s just ALL be friends… Good luck, DogMan.


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