After burglars broke into his truck, car and home five years ago in Augusta’s historic Harrisburg district, Milledge Jackson put his two dogs on guard duty.
The Crawford Avenue resident has not had any problems since, at least not with thieves.
Jackson has received numerous complaints that with their constant barking, his 10-year-old lab, Brownie, and 2-year-old Rottweiler, Roxanne, have annoyed, stressed and scared neighbors and disabled schoolchildren at a local development center.
Although he was not home when a Richmond County sheriff’s deputy knocked on his door in November 2012 to notify him of the complaints, Jackson told The Augusta Chronicle in a recent phone interview that he is sorry if his dogs offended anyone.
“I just want to live together in harmony,” he said. “Let’s let bygones be bygones.”
Jackson’s dogs have been at the center of controversy since he convinced his landlord to allow him to house the animals at his Harrisburg home five years ago.
In the past three years, a neighbor was bitten by his lab, and the Rottweiler he had before Roxanne was shot by a Richmond County deputy for aggressive behavior, he said.
Jackson’s wife was ordered to do community service over the biting and Jackson said the couple now walks their dogs regularly and brings them in at night to help with the barking complaints.
“They still bark,” he said. “But not to the level people have reported.”
Jackson said his dogs tend to bark excessively when pedestrians, stray dogs and loose cats pass by his house.
“My dogs do not cause significant problems, unless people or animals come in or near my yard,” said Jackson, who does construction work and is not always home. “When they start to bark excessively, I go outside and see what the problem is, and most times, after that, everything is good.”
Jackson defended his dogs as good guard dogs and said they even scared away a burglar from breaking into a nearby school.
“People do not seem to see the good qualities of a barking dog,” he said. “They only see the bad.”