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Thread: Trespass/Fencing Issues

  1. #1
    All That & A Bag of Chips sixhorses's Avatar
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    Trespass/Fencing Issues

    Hello Gang,

    I was wondering if anyone has had any experiences with The Ontario Line Fence Act. From what I can gather, I can make an application to have Fenceviewers come out and look at the issues/fencing type and they sort of arbitrate for the parties involved. Anyone used this? I know it costs 100.00 to make an application.

    A couple of years ago I had problems with the kids next door climbing the fence/throwing stuff into the paddock/jumping out from behind bushes to make the horses run and etc. When I posted about it there was the usual gammet of responses from Call the cops to be a good neighbour and involve the kids with the horse care. I took a middle road. I spoke to the kids and their parents about safety, about horses being flight animals, all in a civil, polite manner. I also spoke to the township by-law officer, just to have something on file(due dilligence and all) I also talked to the neighbours about changing the fence to something better for horses and kids, but they were not interested in sharing costs or labour.
    Fast forward to March Break. I heard the kids screaming, so went down toward the barn to investigate. Three kids in the paddock hith the horses 7-9 years old). When I called to them they made a beeline for their property without responding. I drove over and found that they had come over to retrieve an arrow from a compound bow they had 'accidentally' shot over the fence into the paddock.
    Again, in a civil and polite manner I spoke to the Mom's of both families involved. The young lad with the compound bow ignored the whole conversation and continued to shoot his bow into the lawn and toward his Mother and me during our discussion. At one point Mom quipped"I don't think he's listening to a word we're saying". At that point, still leaving on a civil and safety concern note, I came home and called the police. The police came,(next day) we talked, the constable went over to talk to families, but no one was home. Police card was left for the folks to call. I haven't heard anything since. I also wrote a letter to the township by-law officer.
    I now have 400 feet of fencing to change to something safer for my horses and ultimately for the kids. Ordinarily I would have foot the entire bill for the fence as it is my paddock fence that abuts their property(a one acre lot from the corner of my property). Now that I have to consider something more solid, taller, unclimbable(well, much less climbable) I feel like my neighbours should make some contribution to the added expenditure. Thus my question about the Ontario Line Fences Act. I am going to give them the opportunity to help voluntarily. A letter is drafted and ready to go out by registered mail on Monday. Although I feel uncomfortable about this formal process with my own neighbours, the OPP constable asked this pertinent question" Would you feel less uncomfortable to come home to a broken and hurt child lying in your field"? or giving your neighbours a heads up about the realities of livestock and trespassing? Good point Constable.

    Long winded, but perhaps it makes the whole Ontario Line Fences Act scenario a little more reasonable rather than me as the Biatch Neighbour from Hell.

    sixhorses

  2. #2
    I know around here we can only force the neighbours to pay half of what frostwire fencing costs even if we are putting up a wood fence unless they agree to pay half the wood fence all you can get from them is half of what a froswire fence would cost.

  3. #3
    All That & A Bag of Chips
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    Kids being kids - I'm not sure if 'kid' proof fencing will be a challenge just to get over.

    The 'kids' sound like little obnoxious brats but maybe you can 'pay' them to keep 'watch' on your horses. Enlist them with a very important job as you have had 'intruders' in your paddock and need to find out who. Maybe $20 bucks a month ? I know this sounds RIDICULOUS!! even as I type it but sometimes with little asshats you are better to get them working for you literally, then alienate them.

  4. #4
    All That & A Bag of Chips sixhorses's Avatar
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    Horsebroke,

    I truly appreciate what you are saying, but overheard these kids wondering how to put their little dog out into the field when my wolfhounds were out to see if they would kill it. At that point I became a supporter of alienation and due dilligence/process.

    sixhorses

  5. #5
    Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway Just4Fun's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if you go on COTH but there are TONS of excellent threads in the Around the Farm section that may help you out, in addition to the responses you will get here. Unfortunately their response is usually "get the gun!" which doesn't help us Canadians much.

    No experience with this but I think you are handling the situation very well - I don't think I would be as polite as you seem to have been if kids were shooting arrows into my horses field! Maybe get some no trespassing signs / "this area is being monitered by 24/7 video surveillance" signs and post them along the fence line. Even if you don't actually have secutirty cameras, it may help to deter the kids.

    Good luck!

    And as for kid proof fencing: I don't like barbed wire for horses, but could it be put on the outside of the fencing to stop kiddies from being able to climb?
    Last edited by Just4Fun; March 25th, 2012 at 12:03 PM.

  6. #6
    Administrator Special Effects's Avatar
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    Just4 - 99% of that is based on American laws and experiences in American neighbourhoods, so not really valid here.

    This is old info - about 20 years old and in Halton region.

    I had new people move in next door and they were city trying to become country ...without two brain cells in the vicinity of each other. Fast forward to fencing issue we had an old boundary fence of wood and page wire. After their horses broke it down in several spots (to get at my round bales) it was decided that a new fence was needed. They needed something 'to keep their horses out' of my fields because funny souls, they wanted food that was not provided at home because these people said "nature would provide". Yup in a 5 or 6 acre field, all year long in Canada. *sigh*

    I wanted a wood fence. These were the fields I used for my moms with their new foals so I wanted visible and safe. They wanted electric high tensile. I did NOT!

    Bottom line they ripped out the old fence with no notice. I let the horses out one day and there was no fence. It was cheaper to pay all of the high tensile than half of the wood ...so they just put it in. Although I 'owned' half of what they destroyed and tore down - the town did nothing. The fact that a fence I didn't agree to was put in meant nothing. The town told me to put my own wood fence in beside this one if I wanted - 100% my cost. I won't even go into the problem with their starving cats and dogs and wandering chickens. Bottom line is -I would get something in writing from the government before handing over any funds. I found them to be beyond useless.

    These people had loose horses and dogs wandering the neighbourhood and Animal Control wouldn't do anything until the horses trashed a couple of golf course greens and I guess the golf course people had more clout (or more lawyers) than I did. The first time in years anything (fines) was done.

    Good luck! I love the fact that now - my neighbours - are farmers fields.
    Sometimes I just think funny things - Dudley Moore in Arthur

  7. #7
    All That & A Bag of Chips sixhorses's Avatar
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    Thanks! I'll check out Coth.(The gun thing has been suggested to me too) So has the 4 wire electric. I'm at the point where I feel the need to protect their wee dog too, so a no climb mesh or solid fencing seem to be the direction I'm leaning. I suppose I could still run an electric wire along the top to keep the horses from leaning into the fence or cribbing on a top board...
    The no trespassing signs have been up for two years now, metal signs screwed into the board fencing as the plastic ones seem to get damaged and 'blown' down soon after being mounted.

    sixhorses

  8. #8
    Seduced By The Power cressiegirl's Avatar
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    If someone was shooting arrows at my horses, I'd be extremely upset. Sounds like you have about a million factors to consider regarding the type of fencing and everything. I suppose that whatever you do, the bigger a paper trail you leave, the better, so if you can spare the $100, maybe it would be worth it just for that.

  9. #9
    Why don't you just string electric along the top of the existing fence? Next time kids try to climb over - surprise!

  10. #10
    All That & A Bag of Chips
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    Could I loan you Dusty for a few weeks? The little dog will be a goner (sorry about that) but the kids won't set foot in that field again in a hurry!! He is our fence patroller and keeper-outer of fields! Unfortunately he also dislikes dogs who are small and unattended (like my JRT who I have to keep a close eye on).

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by tiki View Post
    Why don't you just string electric along the top of the existing fence? Next time kids try to climb over - surprise!
    The problem would be if the child got hurt, then sixhorses would be liable. Even though it was the little puke climbing the fence he should not have been climbing.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by sixhorses View Post
    Hello Gang,

    I was wondering if anyone has had any experiences with The Ontario Line Fence Act. From what I can gather, I can make an application to have Fenceviewers come out and look at the issues/fencing type and they sort of arbitrate for the parties involved. Anyone used this? I know it costs 100.00 to make an application.

    A couple of years ago I had problems with the kids next door climbing the fence/throwing stuff into the paddock/jumping out from behind bushes to make the horses run and etc. When I posted about it there was the usual gammet of responses from Call the cops to be a good neighbour and involve the kids with the horse care. I took a middle road. I spoke to the kids and their parents about safety, about horses being flight animals, all in a civil, polite manner. I also spoke to the township by-law officer, just to have something on file(due dilligence and all) I also talked to the neighbours about changing the fence to something better for horses and kids, but they were not interested in sharing costs or labour.
    Fast forward to March Break. I heard the kids screaming, so went down toward the barn to investigate. Three kids in the paddock hith the horses 7-9 years old). When I called to them they made a beeline for their property without responding. I drove over and found that they had come over to retrieve an arrow from a compound bow they had 'accidentally' shot over the fence into the paddock.
    Again, in a civil and polite manner I spoke to the Mom's of both families involved. The young lad with the compound bow ignored the whole conversation and continued to shoot his bow into the lawn and toward his Mother and me during our discussion. At one point Mom quipped"I don't think he's listening to a word we're saying". At that point, still leaving on a civil and safety concern note, I came home and called the police. The police came,(next day) we talked, the constable went over to talk to families, but no one was home. Police card was left for the folks to call. I haven't heard anything since. I also wrote a letter to the township by-law officer.
    I now have 400 feet of fencing to change to something safer for my horses and ultimately for the kids. Ordinarily I would have foot the entire bill for the fence as it is my paddock fence that abuts their property(a one acre lot from the corner of my property). Now that I have to consider something more solid, taller, unclimbable(well, much less climbable) I feel like my neighbours should make some contribution to the added expenditure. Thus my question about the Ontario Line Fences Act. I am going to give them the opportunity to help voluntarily. A letter is drafted and ready to go out by registered mail on Monday. Although I feel uncomfortable about this formal process with my own neighbours, the OPP constable asked this pertinent question" Would you feel less uncomfortable to come home to a broken and hurt child lying in your field"? or giving your neighbours a heads up about the realities of livestock and trespassing? Good point Constable.

    Long winded, but perhaps it makes the whole Ontario Line Fences Act scenario a little more reasonable rather than me as the Biatch Neighbour from Hell.

    sixhorses
    If I were you sixhorses, I would invest a couple of hundred bucks (at most) and consult a lawyer. Preferably one that is familiar with rural issues and The OLF Act.

    Not only are you dealing with the fence issue, you also have to take into consideration torts and civil liability. Some of the actions suggested to deter the boy from climbing the fence could leave you liable for any injuries he may sustain. In my mind it's best to spend a little money now to consult a lawyer. It will save you in the long run.

    And regardless of what you decide, be sure you have insurance and it is up to date.

  13. #13
    Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger Paws View Post
    The problem would be if the child got hurt, then sixhorses would be liable. Even though it was the little puke climbing the fence he should not have been climbing.
    Wondering here - if sixhorses installed electric and then put up signs stating that there was an electric fence, would this absolve her of liability? I always find it strange that people who are breaking the law by trespassing have to be protected. In this case though is the fence considered shared property because it's on the shared property line? What if a fence were installed to sixhorses' side of the property line (ie. not ON the line) and she installed electric?

    I agree though with creating a paper trail of all of the occurrences. The crossbow worries me, and the kids planning on having their dog attacked. WTF?

    BTW, on COTH they generally only say to SSS (Shoot, Shovel, Shut up) if it's dogs harrassing their horses, not generally kids! For our knowledge though, I spoke to the barn neighbour who is a cop, and he said that the same law applies in Ontario - if a dog is on YOUR property harassing your livestock (that includes horses), you are within your rights to shoot it. The reason I had to ask is that another asshat neighbour let their off-leash dog come onto our property and come after Zack while I was riding him. Twice. Not that I'm planning on carrying a gun with me when I ride - I just wanted to know what the law was.
    I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

  14. #14
    Seduced By The Power Christmas_Carol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiki View Post
    Why don't you just string electric along the top of the existing fence? Next time kids try to climb over - surprise!
    Or plant a couple of rows of .......... say......... poison ivy?
    Have fun going through THAT twice ye wee turds!
    “Abstinence is a good thing if practiced in moderation.” Chivalry isn't dead. It just followed wherever lady-like went
    Si vis pacem, para bellum. (if you would have peace, prepare for war.) Lead, follow, or get out of the way!

  15. #15
    Seduced By The Power Christmas_Carol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarFlare View Post
    I agree though with creating a paper trail of all of the occurrences. The crossbow worries me, and the kids planning on having their dog attacked. WTF?

    BTW, on COTH they generally only say to SSS (Shoot, Shovel, Shut up) if it's dogs harrassing their horses, not generally kids! For our knowledge though, I spoke to the barn neighbour who is a cop, and he said that the same law applies in Ontario - if a dog is on YOUR property harassing your livestock (that includes horses), you are within your rights to shoot it. The reason I had to ask is that another asshat neighbour let their off-leash dog come onto our property and come after Zack while I was riding him. Twice. Not that I'm planning on carrying a gun with me when I ride - I just wanted to know what the law was.
    The crossbow and parental lack of judgement is a key to me.
    As far as the SSS, VERY in effect around our neck of the woods and stray/wandering dogs. Since I agree with it, the only thing I ask is that someone 'mysteriously' let me know where to plant some flowers, or rescue the body to bury it myself. Would I shoot a dog? Damned straight I would. Had to "do" one of our own, and it hurt, everything inside said "she can be taught better" but the reality is, I'd never be able to fully trust again - and if it was a NEIGHBOUR's animals (or children), I'd obviously be living with more regrets than relief. For ever.
    Oh, and just so you know, you CAN re-fence, then send the bill (or rather the amount you've calculated as being 1/2, given your time and labour ) to the neighbour, AND the township office. The township office will register an official lein and take care of the dirty work for you.
    “Abstinence is a good thing if practiced in moderation.” Chivalry isn't dead. It just followed wherever lady-like went
    Si vis pacem, para bellum. (if you would have peace, prepare for war.) Lead, follow, or get out of the way!

  16. #16
    All That & A Bag of Chips sixhorses's Avatar
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    I'm really trying to avoid any harm here. I've got no problems with the dog. It's a cute, innocent little thing saddled with owners who have no idea what's going on between the kids.
    The children are simply reflections of the asshats they have for parents. (It doesn't mean they don't drive me absolutely crazy), but I'm trying to be rational in spite of feeling irrational. I've thought of palisades and raspberry canes, but I can see those ideas biting me in the behind sooner or later. So I'm trying to go through the right channels... If I was a wee bit wealthier, I'd put up a big, tall, solid fence at the maximum allowed by the township at my own expense. However, I'm not weatlhy, not even a little bit, so if I can spend 100.00 to get back even 500.00 of the added expense. It seems worth it. I thought maybe someone might have been through this before, but it sounds like it's rather rare. Still, I appreciate your thoughts and insights.

    sixhorses

  17. #17
    Been There, Done That, Got the Tshirt senior gal's Avatar
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    What about a strand or two of electric fence? If the kids get zapped once, that should deter them.

  18. #18
    Seduced By The Power Christmas_Carol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixhorses View Post
    I'm really trying to avoid any harm here. I've got no problems with the dog. It's a cute, innocent little thing saddled with owners who have no idea what's going on between the kids.

    sixhorses
    I think what's rare, more, is your willingness to work so hard to find an amicable solution with people who neither know, nor care, about the dangers that are not lurking, but being flagged to come out.
    I'm not suggesting shooting the dog, but mentioning that you have the right to do so MIGHT (I use the term loosely) wake the parents up a bit. Sounds as though you've come up with the BEST solution possible - talking to an agricultural type lawyer who can put all the concerns and ramifications into one well worded letter.

    Other than that, I'd fence with the best available fencing you can afford, and plant a bunch of poison ivy mixed with raspberry canes. Sometimes, you can't fix stupid (or over-entitled) but you can sure make it less attractive to cross the boundaries.
    “Abstinence is a good thing if practiced in moderation.” Chivalry isn't dead. It just followed wherever lady-like went
    Si vis pacem, para bellum. (if you would have peace, prepare for war.) Lead, follow, or get out of the way!

  19. #19
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    Omg..

    You've handled that MUCH better than I would have. If I ever found a bow in my field and knew who was doing it I would have done a lot more than "speak" with the kids as far as legal action is concerned.

    That would scare the crap out of me!

    Those kids sound out of control with no energy outlet. A tired kid is a good kid.. LOL

    If I ever found out my kid was doing that to a neighbours horse.. ooohhh..

    Personally, I would get a lawyer. Now, there ARE lawyers out there that work for free. I'm not sure your area, but I know there are a few within my area (well.. 2 hours away) but they will do research about laws etc for you and have a phone consult etc with you.

    Although, sometimes a paid lawyer is the best way to go too - then you have as much time as needed with them. But, I think its at that point. I'd also make sure that my home insurance was up to par with what your finding.. I would make a formal police complaint. Possibly look into tresspassing at this point.

    I think with the neglect these parents are showing with their kids behaviour. Possibly sneak into the parents heads that they are legally responsible for their childs actions. If they end up injuring one of your animals, its up to the parents to fix it.

    Electric wire is one way to go - the downside to that is if the child actually gets INJURED and starts thinking its a game "who can hold onto the wire the longest".. or "whos brave enough to pee on it".. then its your legal issue that they were dumb enough to try such things. By the sounds of it - they would be too.

    I would probably keep the exhisting fence you have and build a second line of fence that is harder to get through a few feet away from the original line. Two barriers is better than one. I would try a 5' No climb wire fence. T-posts holding the fence in. Build it so its to the ground as well. No room to crawl under, and hard to crawl over.

    So ridiculous that these children are costing YOU money to live peacefully.

  20. #20
    Boy, you sure hit the mother lode of stupid!! Imagine letting a child have a weapon of any kind and allowing them to aim it you! The poster children for abortion, that's for sure.

    We had equipment stolen from out machine shed at various times over the years, and when I asked the OPP about putting electric fencing by the door, they told me that if we did that we'd be liable for any injuries incurred by the thieves. Interesting concept. I also know that if someone stops on the road and comes over to my fence, even with signs posted that it's an electric fence on a highway, if they hurt themselves on the electric fence, we liable. Make sure your insurance is up to date and you should have a minimum 2million liability. I've upped ours to 5.

    Since mandatory sterilization isn't possible, go talk to a lawyer. This will be the best investment that you can make. A legal letter, more frequently, scares the sh*t out of people than a visit from the by-law enforcement officer.
    If you ever see the small dog out alone, and you can, grab it and take it to an animal control, far, far away. It's likely it hasn't been wormed or had shots and would be better off anywhere.
    Do these people own or rent? It's been my experience, both as a neighbour and a landlord, that renters (not all so don't tear me to shreds) frequently don't have the respect for property or neighbours that an owner does. No investment or intention to stay.
    Go to the lawyer. Find out if you put up the fence if you can apply a lien for 50% against their property. Send them a legal, registered letter of your intentions and the reasons for it. I would probably, but this is just me, infere that they are lousy parents and perhaps the CAS should be involved as they are putting the children at risk and the children have been given weapons without supervision. Also that the children have shown sociapathy indices by entertaining ideas regarding animal injury. But, do something and do it soon, because you know things will not get any better as the summer goes on.
    p2c3d2
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  21. #21
    6-8 strand high tensile electric (when tightened properly and maintained!!) is effective against coyotes, and small children.
    If it can keep a goat or sheep in/out, it can keep offending neighbors in/out, while being a safe and suitable fence for your horses. Also, it is one of the more inexpensive options to install and maintain.
    SMB Mfg. has the cheapest options for the insulating tubes, corner insulators and tighteners. Keep an eye on kijiji for a good fencer, we got an almost new Trident for $60.

  22. #22
    Been There, Done That, Got the Tshirt
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    ...

    Good lord. Yes, you are a rare soul indeed!! I would have lost my shit at a kid shooting arrows into my fields. :S

    On that note, we have Community Living right next door to us and have had issues with trespassing and such. The last time was a guy who was "not right" and I told my hubby he needed to do something about him asap before I did. We had to go next door, chat with the house sitters and then let them know we were calling the cops next time he showed up. Hubbs then went to work and filed it on record. Turns out the next day he got arrested for concealed weapons etc. and has a rap sheet a mile long. :S I was quite right in my "willies" about him.
    They also are tearing up District lands behind the house and have knocked down several trees onto our fenclines. Never once have they come over to say "oops! we bulldozed your fences down!!" Bad neighbours kinda suck We are just lucky the trees were so big the horses couldn't get near the holes in the fence. Grrrr.
    The lawyer idea is the best you can do and I think the time for politeness is long passed. The parents are clearly utter morons with zero parenting skills. I would confer with a lawyer and go from there. Sorry you are going through that, that is absolutely no fun at all.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by SolarFlare View Post
    Wondering here - if sixhorses installed electric and then put up signs stating that there was an electric fence, would this absolve her of liability? I always find it strange that people who are breaking the law by trespassing have to be protected. In this case though is the fence considered shared property because it's on the shared property line? What if a fence were installed to sixhorses' side of the property line (ie. not ON the line) and she installed electric?
    It doesn't matter if the fence is on her property or if it is on the property line, if she installs the electric she is liable.

    This is really one of those stupid situations. She is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't, even though it is the neighbours kid trespassing. If she installs the electric and fails to put up signs she has not taken reasonable precautions. If she does put up signs, she is acknowledging that there is a danger that she caused by installing the electric.

  24. #24
    Premium Members QHLady's Avatar
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    What if it was a carefully worded sign, that acknowledges its electric, ut isnt warning? ie - This is a fence. It is electric, which means there is a current running thru it. Please do not touch, it belongs to me. Or something along those lines.
    There's no such thing as a drama-free barn. That's like saying there are no crazy people at a cat show.

  25. #25
    All That & A Bag of Chips
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    In our township ,electric fences are not acceptable as line fences unless by mutual consent of neighboring landowners ... so check with the township re what is acceptable.

    I agree with TP re talk too a lawyer. Maybe the best solution for all concerned and even those who aren't would be to maintain a regulation fence as is and report every incident to the police and if there is damage report that and prosecute as neccessary. Will it not be to everyones benefit if they are forced to learn that respect for others is needed. Just putting up a bigger fence just increases the challenge for the little .... .

    I realize that you don't like the confrontation and don't want to see someone hurt but if you do due diligence to do what you can, why do you need to go substantially out of pocket to assist the neighbors in their parenting or lack thereof?

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