The man took ownership of the dogs after his parents went into a retirement home
Taking to Reddit, the neighbour said he recently bought his first home with his wife after searching around for a property with a “huge back garden”. He explained the previous owners were an elderly couple who were well-known in the area and let children from the neighbourhood play in their garden.
On the day the couple moved in, the man said he was approached by a neighbour who asked if her children could continue playing in the garden, reports The Mirror.
His post said: “The previous owners of our place were an elderly childless couple who were well known in the area for basically being grandparents to everyone and the husband had built multiple tree houses and bridges in the trees for kids to play in.
“The property is fully fenced but has three swinging gates into it.
“When we first moved in we were approached by the next door neighbour who very politely asked if her kids could keep using the back yard to play in.
“We agreed that it was OK so long as she understood that if her kids got hurt it wasn’t our problem and we wouldn’t be supervising kids playing or anything.
The woman got six people to sign her petition (file image)
“She was fine with that and seemed very appreciative and brought over cookies and juice when she came over to watch her kids.
“Word went around and eventually we had around a dozen kids coming by each week, some supervised, some in groups of two or three, but everyone was polite and tidy so we didn’t really care.”
But after Christmas, the man’s parents went into a retirement home and could no longer care for their two dogs, an 11-year-old Belgian shepherd and a 12-year-old German shepherd cross Belgian.
Wanting to keep their pets in the family, his parents asked him to take complete ownership of them.
“My wife and I jumped at the chance to take them, partly because they probably don’t have many years left and we saw it as a good opportunity to get used to having dogs before getting a puppy, and also because we know these two dogs are super well behaved and I love both of them dearly,” he added.
“During the day they chill out in the backyard or on the porch. Once a week we go around the yard and pick up their poo.
“The kids all adore them and some of the older kids have been allowed to take them for walks.
“We put a sign up on the gates saying to keep them closed and warning about the dogs for anyone who may be scared.”
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However, just after the dogs settled into their new lives, an unknown woman showed up at their door demanding they get rid of their pets because her child fell in dog poo while playing in their garden.
He added: “The problem started when a lady we didn’t know showed up at our house and started screaming at my wife, apparently her six-year-old had come home with his friends and they had dog poo smeared all over their hands.
“She basically told my wife that if she didn’t get rid of the dogs then her kids wouldn’t come over anymore and she’d press charges for endangerment.
“My wife basically told her to go away and that it wouldn’t have happened if she’d been supervising her child.
“The woman left and came back with a petition and around six signatures for us to get rid of the dogs.
“We told her to go away and that kids were now no longer welcome. We locked the gates and put signs up explaining and left it at that.
“Several of the nice neighbours have come by to beg us to change our minds but we don’t want to risk it and we don’t have the time to supervise the kids so the gates stay locked.
“We are now arguing with a couple of people who feel it’s unfair that the entire neighbourhood is tarred because of one person’s actions.”
The man has been left questioning whether he is in the wrong for keeping the gates shut to all following the incident – and while most users agreed he can do whatever he wants on his own property, others slammed the woman demanding he gets rid of his dogs.
One user said: “There is something seriously wrong with people who think it’s OK to sign a petition telling other people to get rid of their well-behaved, confined, senior dogs.
“Like beyond simple entitlement wrong.
“I would just explain to your good neighbours that it’s a decision you had to make to protect yourselves and your dogs and it would cause way too much trouble if you let some children in and not others.
“Honestly just telling the parents you aren’t liable if their kids hurt themselves may not be enough to protect you, if you do choose to allow children in again, [I recommend] talking to an attorney first.”
Another user added: “They’re mad they don’t have free babysitters/playground. Not your monkeys and not your circus.
“I will never understand why people think they are entitled to other people’s property. Just say: ‘sorry your neighbours moved but that’s not your property it’s mine’.
“I would choose my dogs over any human – especially children. I’m child-free and love dogs more than anything Make sure to tell them which lady it was”