Do Neighborhood Animal Odors Drive you Inside?

Jefferson County is home to many animals, including pets and livestock, especially since Jefferson County decided to allow backyard chickens and dwarf goats.  All these animals, particularly in urban areas, can cause conflicts.

People tell JCMS:

  • My neighbors have horses, and pile their manure at the fence right next to my house – it stinks, and it draws flies!
  • There are 3 dogs next door, and the owner never cleans up after them – it’s a health hazard and it smells really bad.
  • He keeps goats and chickens, and the odor can be overwhelming when it’s warm outside!
  • It’s not that I don’t like animals – I do, but what can I do about the smell?

Unpleasant odors can become very strong once the weather heats up, and piles of livestock manure and dog poop can be unhealthy, unsightly and offensive.  Some people complain about the disagreeable aromas.  While keeping the animals may be legal, many people don’t want the resulting scent drifting into their space.

If you are comfortable doing so, you can talk (politely and respectfully) to your neighbor.  Maybe he/she isn’t aware that the odors are drifting your way.  Some people may not react well to statements that their animals are causing a problem.  If you are concerned about your neighbor’s reaction, you could try leaving a polite note for them, stating your concerns.  If your neighbor takes offense at what you say, back off – don’t escalate the situation.

If a calm conversation doesn’t work, most municipalities have nuisance laws and code enforcement departments, and neighborhoods with homeowners’ associations have their own regulations.  You can contact the appropriate authority and make a complaint.  It’s more difficult if you live in an unincorporated area.  Wherever in Jeffco you live, mediation can help.

JCMS offers FREE mediation to Jefferson County citizens and businesses.  Mediation is a good way to discuss a dispute reasonably, with a neutral third party (a mediator) to facilitate the conversation.  The mediators won’t tell you what to do, give legal advice, or say who is right or wrong, but they are trained to help people with disagreements to work together to find a resolution, instead of having a shouting match.  Mediation is also quicker than court.  For more information on mediation, go to our website at, or call us at 303.271.5060.  Para Espanol, 720-577-5826.