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My warning signes...

Discussion in 'Breed Specific Legislation' started by Nutz, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. Nutz

    Nutz Hot Topics Subscriber

    According to the local forum SA dog training academy, just putting up warning signage in SA is no longer good enough, and a lot more has to be taken into consideration.

    No longer are the terms vicious / trained to attack / aggressive acceptable, because the sign acknowledges that I the owner am aware of the fact and in court it will be argued that, “knowing the temperament I did not take sufficient reasonable precaution” IE dogs locked up in a kennel.

    To counter that argument you have to state “natural instinct”

    To counter the argument about what is meant by “The property” you have to define the property......

    To counter the argument that the intruder “did not know”

    Signage has to be visible from all point of entry, including the back yard. As the popular excuse is the intruder (aged 12) and looking very sorry for himself, all bandaged up and in tears, was only getting his ball” and did not know there where dogs...

    To counter the argument that “how was I to get my ball” you have to state when somebody may enter the defined property.

    The usual modus operandi of intruders is to send minor’s into the premises.

    Firstly nothing ever comes from a prosecution because they are minor’s and secondly they can get in through doggi doors, small open windows and the like.

    The guys behind the minors are usually in cahoots with the local police station, and sit in their cars just around the corner, and send the kids in on a targeted house.

    OK, so firs if you have an event, and your dobie does the job (hopefully properly and shreds) the intruder, you have to go and make a case of trespassing, just incase there is a personal claim for injury.

    When you made the statement, you need to take a close up photograph of the statement as the documents in the docket go missing ( not the docket as this implicates the police)

    Then I have to have photographs of the signage, notarised that the photographs where taken on a date that pre-dated the trespassing

    So, to obviate the possibility that the evidence & document s goes missing wen I go to court, I have to take copies of all the documents with me, because the judge will make a ruling based on the evidence before him.

    So, I’ve begun the process, and have just put up the first 2 signs on both the front gates, and they are visible from +-15m from the fence....

    When grumble becomes protection trained....... I fervently hope she & the Swiss Shepherd totally shreds the little bugger that dares come into my yard for a look see......

    sign close up.jpg
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  2. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Active Member

    We had a trainer tell us it's never really a good idea to put up a sign for the reasons you have outlined. If you put up BEWARE OF DOG sign, you're essentially admitting the dog is a danger to society.
    • Agree Agree x 3
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  3. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    The best people to ask about signage is whom ever your house insurance is with.
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  4. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    "...whose natural instinct it is to defend their territory..."

    I like that. It at least does not admit that you've trained or promoted the dog(s) to protect or guard.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  5. Nutz

    Nutz Hot Topics Subscriber

    110 % spot on, and therein lies the poisoned chalice.... Once the plaintif's lawyer can get onto THAT hobby horse, your race is all but lost...
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  6. Ingrid H

    Ingrid H Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I am dumbfounded that a trespasser has any reason to complain about what happens to them while on another person's property, but I guess that's what happens in today's sue-happy society.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  7. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    It's really sad that we have to be so careful about people who trespass on our property so they don't sue us, when they're the guilty ones for crossing that boundary to start with.
    • Agree Agree x 6
  8. Nutz

    Nutz Hot Topics Subscriber

    Hi Ingrid

    Your comment is one thing... What’s more aggravating is how the thieves use youngsters to actually do the stealing, and are backed up by the police, who let documents and statements go missing.

    See its all tied up in the pay-out from successful personal injury claims, either by your insurance, or by you if you don’t have insurance

    Such judgements can utterly ruin you of you don’t have personal liability insurance, they can run into hundreds of thousands of Rands.... Where do I get the money?

    Remember, the judge can only make a ruling based on the facts in-front of him. Seldom will the hearings be post-poned.... And heaven help you if you get a racially biased judge

    So the youngster (looking mightily sorry for himself, all bandaged up, getting lot’s of sympathy) gets a small cut, the police officer/s who facilitated (by making documents go missing) a successful prosecution gets a bigger cut and the co-ordinator walks away with your life savings, your house and everything else.....

    Quite lucrative......
    • Wow x 3
  9. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    So under the circumstances which is better, to have a well trained Doberman whose duty is protection of you and your property and is trained with this in mind, or to have a Doberman who is not trained as such, but allowed to exercise their natural protective instincts?

    To me it is simple and if someone is in on your property without permission and gets mauled then that's their own fault. Shame that your system over there is run by greed and kickbacks! :(
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. Nutz

    Nutz Hot Topics Subscriber

    Hi J

    Your former..... But cover your butt properly, know the minfield so that you can navigate through it without blowing yourself up....

    I agree.... I hope Grumble shreds anyone no matter how young who comes for a look see... And if my rheumy right eye's in focus, Mia (The Swiss Shep) & possably Scruffy will join in.... BLOODY GOOD!

    I've worked my entire life to build a little generational wealth for my foster son to inherit.... Ain't about to give my life up....
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Brioddy

    Brioddy Notable member

    Do you have a fence surrounding your property? We learned in hunters ed that even without no trespassing signs a fence is a sign of a boundary, and if you do not have written and signed permission by the property owner the self to be on it then you are in the wrong and are trespassing. And in the states I’ve lived in this also means you can legally get your ass shot off by said property owner if you’re caught out there.
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  12. Nutz

    Nutz Hot Topics Subscriber

    Hi Bioddy.

    Yes, If you read the sign it says, this property defined by the perimeter fence / walls....

    So that you negate the argument that the intruder was not aware of where the property starts and ends.

    Across the front I have 2m high palisade fencing that’s spiked at the top, and the other three boundaries are 6Ft walls between the 3 adjacent properties.
    Here, you may not use a lethal weapon unless your life is in immediate and imminent danger.

    That means, even if the intruder is in your property which is securely walled and fenced, and is bending your secutiy gate on your front door open you may not use your lethal firearm because you still have the option of “running away” EG out your back door.

    You literally have to be cornered and the intruder has to have a deadly / offencive weapon to use your gun.

    These days a lot of people keep toy guns in the house, shoot the intruder, put on a latex glove put the toy gun in the intruders hand then call the police making the statement that he was about to shoot them and who can tell real from toy....
    • Informative Informative x 2
  13. Brioddy

    Brioddy Notable member

    I did read the sign, alas that part seemed to not have stuck with me. Here too you should claim self defense, but when there’s only one side of the story...
  14. Ingrid H

    Ingrid H Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    The law is quite similar here in the USA.
  15. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    The laws do seem to have become a bit back to front. Here in the state where I live an 86 yr old man had a young intruder coming after his pension check and anything else worth having, and these youngsters are quite willing to beat up the oldies! Old gent grabbed something heavy, not sure what now, and clouted young bugger over the head, and killed him! I say good!!! But the poor man had to suffer a couple of years of court cases where he had to prove he was under personal attack until, finally, common sense prevailed and they decided there wasn't evidence that he WASN'T under personal attack! Go Figure. :scratch: Meanwhile, rapists, robbers and general bad guys get such soft sentences they probably just treat the lockup time as a rest from having to look after themselves. Not corruption, (that I know of), just gutless policies. We live in a watered down world. :facepalm:
  16. DanBar

    DanBar Member

    Hi Nutz, actually, reading your sign, I don't see ANY difference in how you are saying you have "prior knowledge". Now I am in America, but I was an animal control officer for 20 years, and dealt with the state and local laws regarding trespass versus non-trespass. By saying that you are aware of your dog's "natural instincts" it is the same as saying that your dogs are trained and you understand their training may make them act in a certain way. Either way, you are letting potential trespassers know the YOU have prior knowledge that, because of training OR natural instinct, they may pose a threat to intruders.

    For this reason I would be more inclined to just state that the dogs are trained, and if push comes to shove in a court case, you can say that your dogs were trained to repel intruders and that plenty of warning was given to kids, trespassers, etc.

    You CAN put up those insipid "dog in yard" signs, but those don't protect you either. IF you have had your dogs trained, any good lawyer will find that out in the course of the investigation and then fry you for not having warning signs letting people know that the yard was protected by TRAINED dogs...

    I have always had very specific, very graphic signage as because my dogs were trained for IPO, there was no way I would be able to fight a "prior knowledge" argument. BUT, and this is the the BIG BUT here, I also took more than reasonable care to not only warn the public but to make entry nigh onto impossible. A 6 foot high fence, with electric on top (and bottom) made it unwelcoming for a kid to want to get fried by the fence to get their ball. The sign advertised the electric component. As well, the gate was locked 24/7 and advised visitors to never enter unless accompanied by the owner. So, basically, the only people who would try and enter the fenced area (all around the house) would be those attempting to commit a "tort" or bad action.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts from this angle. I've had a lot of experience with this subject. It is also one reason having those so called invisible fences are a liable lawyers wet dream! No protection for the public to keep them from wandering into the area, and a high chance the dog will come through the fence if excited enough.
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  17. Nutz

    Nutz Hot Topics Subscriber

    Morning Danbar.
    The problem does not lie with prior knowledge. The problem lies with "trained to".

    May I digress for a moment, to set the backdrop.
    reciently, the famous South African paraplegic runner oscar Pistourius was sentenced to a lengthy jail term, based on that he should have been able to forsee that shooting multiple times through a closed bathroom door would have caused grevous bodily harm. (there is a legal term for this 'anticipation" I just can't call it to mind right now. (it's a Latin term)

    Prior knowledge, that the dog, of it's own violition, has the natural instint to defend it's terrority.

    I have the duty to advise an intruder of this fact. If the intruder then decides to continue with the intrusion DESPITE the warning, then the intruder is wholly responsible for the consequences of that decision, not me, the owner of the dog.

    However, If I have "trained" the dog, then, like Oscar it can be reasonably be agrued that I should have forseen that there would be serious consequences, in heightening the aggression of the dog and have therefore exacerbated the consequences and this will make me liable.

    Here in SA it lies with "what reasonable" precautions where taken.

    As to the sign itself: - The heading is in English and one other major African language (Kotsi is Zulu for warning)

    The sign brings to the attention that the dog has protective natural instints, and makes no reference to "heightened" protection instints.

    The sign states clearly what is ment by the property (the property defined by)

    The sign gives clear and unambigous instruction to only enter under supervision.

    It is not necessary to have the full sinage in multiple laguages, as the heading is sufficient instruction to any intruder (who is able to summount the spiked walls) to desist from doing what they had in mind, and ask what the warning is about.

    The signs are visable from all points of entry, including in the back of the property.

    ADDITIONALLY:- All boundry walls & gates are are 6ft & higher, the tops of the pallasaide fence & gates facing the street are spiked and barbed.

    Taken all together it is consided all reasonable precaution.

    Our real problem lies elsewhere in this fiasco. Here, the intruders work hand-in-glove with the police.
    Ususlly, the "controllers"(for want of a better descriptive) send minors into the property, and are usually sitting in the getaway vehicle closeby.

    It is usually black minors, so that they can play the race card, whic in SA is a HUGE issue

    They know that nothing will come of it if the minor is apprehended. If there is an incident, (in this case due to a dog), the controller's lay civil charges and offer the police a fat bribe from the payout from a succesful civil litigation

    The Judge will make a ruling, based on the facts before him on the day of the hearing.

    So here is where the currupt police involvement comes into play....

    It's not the docket that goes missing, because that implicates police ineptatude / curruption, it's all the documents and evidence that you have given to the police in support of your charges that goes missing, the police simply state that's all the documentation that's there...........

    So without that as evidence on the day, you have no case, the ruling goes against you and you are liable for a civil case and now its involving a minor so the damages claim rises exponentially.

    The minor gets a little payout, the cop get a wack and the controller get's the major payment...

    So.... You must go to court with the originals of everything, including a cell phone picture of the statement that is made at the police station

    When you lay counter charges, It's recommended that you begin your statement with the decleration that you have the originals of all the documentation (that you are handing over) and list it.

    Be careful to keep multiple copies, as "investigating officers" have been known to make a follow up visit, and solicit the originals from you to support their follow up investigation....

    Now, to protect myself against the arguement that I put up the sinage, I've had photographs taken and the date that the photographs where certified on will provide sufficient evidence that the sinage was in-situe prior to the incident

    I have multiple copies of the certified documents, to give over when I lay charges, and for any "investigative reasons....

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