Neighbors kids and paintball Guns!

nelda1234July 26, 2009

Yesterday I noticed that some of my girls had paint on them and could not figure out where it was coming from. My DH was outside and heard something in the woods and went in to check it out and caught two of the neighbor boys with paintball guns. They ran when they saw him - One of my girls is now blind in one eye from a shot to her face. I washed her face off of the paint but her eye is still closed today - she has a bum foot and can't even run very well to get away.

It saddens me to think that young children these days are so cruel to animals - and don't seem to care that they are hurting a defenseless animal - they were actually calling the chickens to them so that they could shoot at them.

I am angry at this situation and am not sure exactly what I should do. Should I confront(nicely)the grandparent of the children first and tell her what they are doing. these people also let all 6 of their dogs run all over the country side and I mean they roam everywhere!

Have I mentioned that I am angry about this? I am not trying to cause trouble for anyone, but these children need to know that it is wrong to do what they did - I am allowed by law to have the chickens - I am very careful about them, even though I let them freerange (we have four acres)I make sure that they stay on our property - if I hear them out in the woods I will check on them - if I think they are getting to close to the line I will call them in-

Do you guys have any (nice)suggestions :) I have a few---but they are not very nice :) Thanks for any help that you can give me.

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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I have plenty of suggestions, none of them nice. Talk to whomever is in charge of the little gremlins, I suggest the male, perhaps impress upon him the economic impact of their actions, and how you expect someone to pay for your loss in production and time should they be responsible for any more interruptions.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 5:19AM
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Today animals tomorrow people! In most states it is a felony to use paint guns to shoot unwilling people and animals. If parents are allowing children under 18 year of age unsupervised use of these and they are used to break any laws, the parents can be charged with any number of crimes in most states.

I would not approach the parents unless you know them quite well. Take many pictures and share them with the local police. This is serious and should be reported to the authorities. Teenagers have killed pedestrians with paint guns fired from a moving auto.

If you are wearing the proper protective gear these are fun to play with, but when used against unprotected, unwilling participants serious injury and perhaps death could be the results.

Do these children a favor and report it to the authorities before their play becomes deadly serious with a life altering consequences.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 10:27AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

The little sh*ts! I've got lots of not-so-nice suggestions, too.

Ditto what the others may said. Were they trespassing on your property when they did this? If so, it's another charge to add to the list. I'd call the police and ask to go with the officers to the parents' (or whoever) home when they visit them. I'd take along the blinded animal so the kids & parents can see first hand what they've done. Mention that they were picking on a crippled animal who could not escape, and that since chickens are birds and have hollow bones, a paintball hit can easily kill your pets instantly. Lay on the guilt with a freakin' trowel, maybe it will get the kids to see the light.

If those were MY kids, besides the scolding, butt-paddling and grounding they'd get from ME, I'd make them spend the next 2 weeks working at your place--feeding animals, clearing brush, picking up trash--whatever was hard, manual labor, separately from each other, with lots of time for them to reflect on the error of their ways.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 1:50PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

I have an empty parcel next tp me that I would LOVE to own if only I had the Money!If it isnt paint guns its those nerve wrenching dirt bikes.I am so afraid the paint balls will end up in the pond. Then there is the neighbor across the street that shoots his fireworks into my property.He said he cleans them up but I am still picking them up from the 4th.but so far no one has shot at my ducks or I would come UNGLUED!!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 7:31PM
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I knew that because I was so angry that if I went over to their Grandparents house to confront them that I would be the one going to jail :)I have never been so angry at the cruelty that was displayed - these young boys (10&12)are very aggressive and just in general mean - their parents are heavy drinkers and are not very nice - it is sad really that these children have poor roll models. Yes they were trespassing onto our property they were actually very close to the side of the coop just inside the woods.

I have every intention of turning them in - I first needed to calm down and take care of my girls first and make sure that they were all ok - I do a nightly physical check every night because they freerange, because of what had happened I spent a great deal of time checking them all very carefully (all 104). I do the check at night when they come in to roost-they are very quiet then and are easily handled.

I have taken pictures of all the girls that had paint on them and also pictures of "Aunt Bea", her eye and foot - I also went out in the woods and took pictures of trees etc.. that had paint on them -

Even though I knew that I was going to turn them in I really needed to get advice from all of you on how to handle the situation. It also helped to further calm me down. Thank you to everybody you are always a big help :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 11:20PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Yeah, nelda...stay calm, whatever you do. It's going to be tough since the neighbors are obviously a bunch of losers raising MORE losers to follow in their footsteps, but all you can do is your best. Maybe the kids will show a sliver of good moral fiber & remorse when talked to.

Also, is your property fenced and signed with 'No trespassing' signs? Can you put up some 'area under 24 hour video surveillance' signs, maybe a few fake plastic cameras...?

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 1:52PM
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Stay calm - I am trying very hard to do just that:) Yes, the property is fenced and postings (no trespassing'signs)
Well I called the Sheriff's Depart. and they came out and wrote up a report about the incident and took pictures of the girls and then they went into the woods and took pictures of fencing and signs-----and guess what else they found out in our woods? The "Daddy" has apparently been drinking out in our woods between the time the "kids" shot at my girls and Monday when I called the Sherriff's Depart. Yea for me huh! They found about 9 bottles of empty beer bottles up on our hill.

The Sherriff went to their house and spoke with the Grandmother and then the "Daddy" came home and they talked to him, oh and gee he had been drinking and got ugly (go figure)well they ended up taking him to jail and there will be a hearing in two weeks for the kids - the Sherriff said I will get a small settlement, about $500 and oh gee again - the kids already have a juvie record.

Great, yippee, woowee - I see this getting ugly - of course the saving grace is that now that a complaint has been filed if I have anymore problems..........? Now for the "Daddy" I have no idea what will happen with that---things just keep getting better and better!!!

Oh and the other great news is that these kids ride my Son and Daughter's Bus----how great is that? Of course they were kicked off the bus last year, maybe they won't be riding again this year---one can only hope :)

On a serious note the Grandmother was properly embarrassed and very apologetic the Officer said.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 11:42PM
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About 12 years ago I ended up moving because of a situation similar to yours. The war zone of a neighborhood just got so bad it wasn't safe for me or my animals so I took a job in another state and packed up and left. Even today when people talk nostalgically about "life in the country" I will add horror stories of my time living way out in the sticks with psycho neighbors that liked to get drunk and shoot guns.

If you can ever remain calm when in front of this family you owe it to them to explain the problem without talking down to them (hardest thing in the world to do - I know). People running around in the woods with any sort of weapon, looking for something to harm, thinking they can get away with anything, it only leads to bigger trouble down the road. If these two can figure out something else to do for fun, something that doesn't end up with something hurt or property damaged they will be on the right path to a brighter future - but the sad truth is that these stories don't ever have happy endings. Someone needed to step in and take control a long time ago.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 2:55PM
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No John you are right "life in the country" isn't all that it is cracked up to be all the time. I love the country life---I would not trade it for the world--this property has been in our family for over 70 years and I will not allow stupid people to run us out!! My mom said that sometimes "Stupid" is just Bone Deep! Of course this neighbor plus one more is all we have that land locks us--so shoot I can't even buy them out :) They live with the in-laws so maybe the Grandmother will kick them out--she may be getting fed up with all the problems that they and the children are causing---

This is out of my hands now-and was told to not try and speak with them on this matter--that it would be best if I wait until the hearing--I do know that I will not agree to let them come over and work off their bill--If they were not so mean and cruel and if this were their 1st offence maybe-----but I do not trust them as far as I can throw them!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 5:02PM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

Don't get personal, don't try to explain anything about your reasons, feelings. You just can not win, and talking will only escalate the problem. They don't care about you, the birds, your feelings, feel entitled to do as they please at any time. ANYTHING you can say at this point will come across as "preachy or talking down" to them.

As already demonstrated, talking gets out of hand FAST, and that was with the POLICE! You could easily get hurt. Stay away, hope they go away. Document and report any problems right away. Not sure if you can get some cheap motion detector cameras for their favorite "visiting spots" on your property. I would not post signs, just see what happens with the film you get. Maybe they will decide to just play elsewhere now, you are going to be too much trouble. Sure hope so!! Best of luck with things.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 10:38PM
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We had a simlilar situation a few years ago. They were very scary people and were always encroaching on our land, putting up fences, etc., even though they had 2X the space as we. Their animals were always over, their dogs trying to bite us as we exited our cars after getting home from work, etc.. Sometimes you have to wait it out, as eventually they are their own demise. We aren't avid hunters, but own guns. We found that occasional target practice lets everyone know that you are armed and those that would think of causing trouble will reconsider, even though you may not follow through. No one knows you wont! There are also laws in most if not all states that require you to keep your animals on your own property and to liscence dogs. Here in Wisconsin, you have a legal right to shoot any dog that is troubling your stock. But, you may be sued for it-!?! So, do what you need to and keep quiet, and keep a shovel handy!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 5:04AM
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Like Bob Barker always ended his show with--always have your neighbors spay or neutered. Might not be exactly what he said--but close.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 5:50AM
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One for the books. We were new to neighborhood, this one evening it looked like someone trying to break in the house next door. The dog was jumping on a big man barking and growling the man pushing it down trying to get in back door in the shadows. I called the police and that is when our lives turned into living hell. The man lived there and he was trying to sic his dog on a neighborhood cat that couldn't get away. We started to find foot prints under our windows in the mornings and things taken from our yard. We put up a chain link fence, he'd get in anyway, we'd stay up all night waiting, wrong night, we bought a VERY large german shepard. One day I was at work got a call from a neighbor saying he was feeding my dog something over the fence. We sent the dog for training and hated the sight of this man and it stopped him from coming into our yard then we got notice from our insurance company that if we did not get rid of the dog our homeowners insurance would be cancelled apparently they did not cover German Shepards. I notified the insurance company they told me to install a security alarm. I explained to them that security alarm would not protect me when I was out walking. He then threw acid onto my husband work truck from the street. I could go on and on 11 years of court appearance he being his own lawyer and winning. Before the dog we were renovating our bathroom and piled the old wood by the side of the garage, the fenced garage I may ad. He was sueing us for an injury to his foot when he stepped on wood with nails perturding through it while in my yard, yup you got it right he was in my yard when he was apparently hurt. The judge told him he should stay out of our yard and that I was to clean up the mess around my house. This man owns the mineral rights to mining on Mars, true story look it up. When USA landed on Mars they had to consult him!! We moved and took our dog with us. Living on top of a mountain with no neighbors can get loney but the security is like no other. Good luck and everyone is right don't approach them as frustrating as this may be you should go the legal route.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 8:17AM
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Ahhh Thanks Everybody!! You have all given me such great advice and most of all you have given me humor and laughter and that my friends is priceless!!!

When the hearing for the boys arrives I will remember what everybody shared with me-I hope that with school starting soon that they (the boys) will not have time for their little adventures into my woods-I can alway hope and pray that this will be the end of it and that they will finally get the help that they need-maybe the whole family will get some counseling after this and it will help them be better people, with their juvie record maybe that will happen. I do have a lawyer on retainer and we have discussed that maybe he can request family counciling etc...I am not angry anymore---just feel sad for the children that it has come to this.

I am not saying that all of your stories are humerous they are in fact some pretty scary horror stories-It makes me see that mine is not so bad (well not yet anyway)!

Again thank you all!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 9:24AM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

Nelda, wow, I would freak out dealing with that kind of CRAPP!!!. I am thankful that I live on 10 acres,,and have no neighbors on either side that are in sight. Woods all around and a relative who lives across the street. I would have started a war. When I read that you had called the police and that they now have to go to court, I was so HAPPY, I yelled out loud... YAY !!!!!. LOLOLOL. Good for you !!. They will pay for it now. I feel sorry for the grandmother who has to put up with the SH*T from the son and little tyrants. Just keep your guard up,,because stupid people like that who are so ignorant are likely to keep pulling some stunts. Good luck to you =)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 11:53AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Laturcotte1, sorry to hear about your awful neighbor, for future you might want to look into food aversion training, you can train your dog not to take food from other people. Also, incidentally, it would be a violation of the outerspace treaty, Article II ("Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means."), which the US has signed and ratified (32 years ago) for him to own the mineral rights to mars, I suspect someone was spinning a yarn, or is a member of the tinfoil hat club. A number of years ago there was a fellow who laid claim to the moon, and you can buy a piece of his claim online, he sent out letters to all of the nations of the world and didn't hear any objections so he proceeded to sell it off as if he owned it. Perhaps the next thing they would tell you about is this bridge in Brooklyn that they have to sell you, it's cheap too.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 11:40PM
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"Oh and the other great news is that these kids ride my Son and Daughter's Bus----how great is that? Of course they were kicked off the bus last year, maybe they won't be riding again this year---one can only hope :)"

Are there any martial arts schools in your area? Seems like it would be a good thing for your kids to learn. Hopefully, they have lots of friends at school who will back them up if there are any problems.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 5:22PM
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We have a "family" much like your neighbors near us. The "adults" regularly drive home drunk and plow down people's fences and occasionally take an animal with them. They recently got 2 pit bulls that were allowed to roam free and were not friendly to say the least. One day my son and I were going out to the chicken pen when we heard a lot of racket and what I thought was dogs (we don't have any). When we arrived at the pen what was in there but the 2 pit bulls trying quite hard to get through that fence at us. Called the police department who said we could shoot them or they would send a deputy out to shoot them. The dogs are no longer...but neither are my 30 chickens - which means no meat or eggs and having to start over with chicks. It has been a long 3 months as we continue to wait for our chickens to grow to production size. These same people have two boys who live to terrorize animals and people alike. They would let out our rare breed hogs when we were not home ( we now have padlocks on EVERY pen) and because of it and the evidence on game cameras catching them in the act the boys have been arrested for trespassing, vandalizem and other things. They are always back in a few days torturing everyone within walking distance. Nothing you can do really but keep a close eye out and keep in touch with your local law enforcement. I know it seems harsh to have "kids" picked up by the police, but one of two things are guaranteed to happen 1) they will learn their lesson and never mess with you again or 2) you will have a clear and legal history of their activities if and when their "pranks" escalate. We are hoping the family near us will eventually give up and move away. The last police officer that came out said the oldest boy is almost 16 and will probably end up in juvenile hall shortly for some other offenses he has committed. Ours is a situation where I wish these boys would be taken away from their horrible living conditions or that someone will go ahead and lock them up to prevent what they will eventually do.
All this to say those boys started with paint guns and now some genius bought them a pellet gun. Nip it in the bud before it gets worse. Call the police and let it be known that you will call every time. Post no trespassing signs and the most important part is that you have signs that say "violators will be prosecuted" In our county a warning ticket can be given if you don't have that special phrase - if you do - automatic arrest.
I sound like a crazy, but your property and animals are an investment of time, care, and money. No one should take that away from you and get away with it.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 12:00AM
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No more freaked out that I was! And yes, both my children have been in a martial arts class for the last 2 years - hopefully it will not be needed-I do not want my children to have to defend themselves but they can if it is needed, I keep stessing that fighting is not the way to solve problems - but I do know and remember that sometimes there is just no choice. I know there is always a choice and you can walk away-but we all know that sometimes bullies etc...will force you to fight by attacking you when you try to walk away. I will, depending what the outcome of the hearing is-be talking to the bus superintendent about recent summer activities---if they have access to a paint gun----what else do they have access to????? I am scared for my kids---I am scared for my flock and my family in general-I will make sure to voice my opinions in the court hearing about my fears--these two kids are just bad news and so is their parents.

calsmom: OMG! I think they must be related to my neighbors,LOL! I am sooo sorry for you--your neighbor sounds just like mine. They also had a pitbull-which in fact ATTACKED my Lab ON OUR PROPERTY, AND ME during the winter months. Thank god for my winter clothes-The dog was destroyed--That was our fist encounter with the ugly side of the neighbors-Thank you for the advice about the "special wording" I will be checking into the laws in our county. Just a few more days and we will see what the outcome will be.

Thanks again to everybody for their imput into our situation.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 12:15AM
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Brendon of Bonsai my point of mentioning my neighbor was sometimes they turn out to be nightmares and how easily it can escalate. Nelda1234 needs to be careful you just never know what you're dealing with.

Here is just a small clip of who my nightmare was...His name was Thomas Budnick...For more than 20 years, Budnick tried to file and peddle mining claims in such diverse places as George's Bank, the asteroid belt, Mars and the moons of Jupiter. After trying several states without success, he finally persuaded Texas authorities to accept his astral mineral rights claims in 1984.

Nelda good luck.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 9:55AM
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The quickest way to get rid of those A-- H---- is to hit them in the wallet. Get a Liar (Oops--I mean Lawyer) file a VERY large lawsuit asking for as much damages as you can and a multi-million request for punitive damages that stem out of yours and your families fear of what that they have/will do sighting previous behavior to justify it. I guarantee they will move away thinking if they are out of sight they will be out of your mind. Keep a log of everything they say and do toward your family/animals and property. Video them as much as you can. Report EVERY thing to the authorities (not just cops-get the child protective agencies involved-to any governmental agency that will listen)get an order of protection against the whole family-this may even prevent the boys from riding the bus-check with the prosecuting attorney for your district-learn what you can or cannot do legally. The Internet is very good source for that. Become the LEGAL BULLy--it won't take much money to make them run. Include the Grandma in the lawsuit-for allowing this activity under her 'roof'. Seek out neighbors that have or having trouble with them to join in at any level they feel comfortable doing. Most of all do not let up until they are gone for good!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 10:06AM
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Call the police.

Have the police talk to them.

They will not ignore the police but they will ignore you.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 1:51PM
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Without going into the icky details - When I had "neighbor" problems I called the sheriff (only option, there was no police dept) so often they quit responding. I sometimes had to call two or three times each day! They knew my number and the sound of my voice. Their advice would have cost me money and I had none. When the problem family extended their terrorism one mile further up the road to a neighbors house he solved it by lying to the law about what was going on. It seems that if you call often with petty crime issues it gets swept under the table but if you call with a major crime complaint the law will act swiftly. So the lesson I learned is that sometimes you have to jump ahead of the problem and stretch the truth a bit to get solid action from the authorities. Live and learn.

I now live in the city and have seen neighbors down the block go through similar situations. So this is not only a country problem. Luckily my nextdoor neighbor is trashy but entertaining and harmless.

I will add that I came through those years of terror a changed person. Its like I have two personalities, one that is cheerful and easy going and another that will be the meanest person in the room if he has to be. It has solved more problems than it has caused.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 2:27PM
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