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January 3, 2013

Derry neighbors continue to battle over dogs

DERRY — A long-running dispute has one homeowner in the doghouse with his neighbor.

Anthony Lang and Len Budd have lived next door to each other on Robin Road for more than 20 years.

But they’re miles away from being neighborly, thanks to continued conflict over Budd’s dogs.

The men have sparred over the four pets for years, even ending up in court several times. But there’s no end in sight.

Budd is heading back to court next month because the town claims he is not in compliance with the local dog ordinance.

Lang has a long list of complaints against his neighbor’s four canines — a Corgi, a Scottie, a Labrador and Chesapeake Bay retriever. He said the dogs aren’t trained and, as a result, make life tough for him.

He said the dogs dig, bark and do their business in his yard. Lang has made multiple complaints to the town — and has backed up those complaints with photographs.

Just ask Budd. He says his neighbor is “obsessed” with his animals and uses every opportunity to take pictures of them, regardless of what they’re doing.

Lang said the town ordinance could use a little more teeth.

“The law has a real problem here,” he said. “Especially for those of us who live with it day in and day out.”

Any wandering dog or cat can be called a “nuisance” if it wanders onto another person’s property, according to the town ordinance. Dogs that dig, scratch, go to the bathroom where they shouldn’t, bark excessively, bite or chase vehicles could be in trouble — or, at least, their owners could be.

That trouble includes fines, something Budd is familiar with.

“But every time I pay, I feel like I’m saying I’m guilty,” he said.

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