Ask Covenant Cat

Covenant Cat carefully inspects a dirty sneaker while he sleeps.
Covenant Cat carefully inspects a dirty sneaker while he sleeps.

This periodic “advice column” addresses common questions about the Hickory Ridge village covenants and other property maintenance concerns. To keep it interesting, your questions are answered by a local feline who is surprisingly well-versed in covenant issues. This cat may or may not be an overweight orange tabby named Boo Boo that lives with the Village Manager. Send your burning questions to

Doggy Doo Blues

Dear Covenant Cat:

My neighbor has an out-of-control dog that is constantly running loose and doing his business on my lawn. What can the village office do about this?

                                   – Disgusted on Dry Leaf Path

Dear Disgusted:

Like you, I find dogs extremely annoying, especially when their owners don’t keep them on a short leash! Unfurtunately, the village office has no authority over pet behavior. Only Animal Control can help you with this issue.

Howard County law requires that dog owners keep their dogs leashed at all times and immediately pick up all dog waste on someone else’s property. Many dog owners don’t realize the importance of abiding by these laws. Abandoned pet waste produces up to 30% of the bacteria (e.g. E.coli, parvovirus, heartworm, giardiasis) that pollute our streams and rivers. Yuck! Even the furiendliest dogs can seem threatening to those who aren’t dog lovers (like you & me), so pet owners should always keep dogs leashed even if they have a well-behaved pooch. It’s considerate and it’s the law!

The village office can’t investigate complaints about animal behavior. To report a violation of Animal Control laws, you must file an affidavit with Animal Control. For more information about the affidavit process, call 410-313-2780 or visit If you don’t feel comfortable reporting your neighbor, maybe having a conversation with him about how his dog’s behavior impacts your household would help. I know it feels like you’ve got it ruff living next to an annoying dog, but I have one living WITH me! Blech!

Hugs & Kittens,

Covenant Cat

Covenant Cat Archives

Compliance Concerns: Covenant Cat explains the Letter of Compliance – what it is and why you should get one.

Expecting Inspections?: Covenant Cat explains the complaint-driven covenant enforcement process.

Put a Cap on It!: Covenant Cat clarifies what to do about a missing sewer line cap.

Cracks in the Sidewalk: Covenant Cat helps a resident understand who is responsible for sidewalk repair and replacement.

Approval for Tree Removal: Covenant Cat explains when a resident needs approval to remove a tree from their property.

Political Signs: Covenant Cat explains the rules for displaying political signs in your yard.

Tree Trimming Woes: Covenant Cat explains the Massachusetts Self-Help Rule for tree trimming.

15-Day Letters: Covenant Cat explains this part of the covenant enforcement process.