Bad Front Door Latch = Escaping Dog

4 Replies

So, I was at my rental property replacing some windows A/C units in preparation for summertime in Louisiana, and my tenant's dog was wandering the house.  The wind blew open the front door (the latch was on my list to repair that day, as well...), and the dog took off.  I almost was able to grab him, but he was super fast, big, and had no collar.  Great.

I ran out the door, but he was nowhere to be seen.  I attempted to call the tenant that owned the dog, but no answer.  Called the other tenant, but no answer.

I decided to hop in the car and ride around to at least make an attempt to find the dog, but my hopes weren't high.  Luckily I saw some guys and asked if they had seen a dog running around.  They said they saw one zig zagging across the major road and that their buddy had taken off after it.

After running in this guy's general direction through some back yards and alleys, I ended up at one of the neighborhood drinking establishments, where the dog was sitting by the bar with an almost "What took y'all so long? Do you know how long I've been waiting?" expression on his face.

I got him back home and texted the tenants that we were all clear.  It was definitely a stressful experience.

I learned that fist things come first.  Maybe I should have fixed the door before replacing the AC.  It wasn't even that hot that day...  

Standard clause in my lease agreement states any/ all animals MUST be confined to a crate, or at minimum a bedroom during any notified entry. When the dog takes a bite outa your best plumber you’ll learn why.

Preventing a pain in your rear is always better than treating one.

Interesting scenario. I haven't come across this with my properties but when I was a property manager for a marina we had pet rules which stated that when the owner wasn't home that the dog needed to be contained to the vessel and when they were out, they needed to be on a leash and under someone's supervision. I had a few dogs get loose while a slip renter was away. Did my best to call the owners but ultimately had to contact animal control for one dog as the owner wasn't replying within a one hour time frame. My corporate office was having a fit about it all. Sadly, had to jump in the water to save another dog too. Not only were they breaking marina rules but they were endearing others as well as the dog itself. All of those situations lead to disciplinary actions due to broken agreements. As a dog lover, I am thankful you were able to recapture the dog. As a landlord, I'm torn. In this litigious society, I would hate to think what would have happened if you didn't find the dog or if it was hurt. Ultimately, I'm sure you would fix the latch first next time. I also like Kris's recommendation for the pet addendum. 

Like the other posts have mentioned, I would recommend asking your tenant to contain the dog to an area where it can't escape/harm anyone working on the property. At one of the apartment complexes I lived at, we were required to have our animals properly crated/contained anytime the maintenance team had to come into the unit. This could save you some time and energy (as you won't have to chase the dog around town again)! Best of luck!

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