Neighbors at war

By Eric Freedman

Jennifer Cook initially got along amicably with her neighbors in rural Bartholomew County, Indiana. But that relationship went downhill when the neighbors, Brian and Katrina Brumley, bought a Great Pyrenees puppy to protect their poultry, goats, miniature horse and miniature donkey from coyotes, foxes and bobcats, according to legal documents in Cook’s unsuccessful appeal of her stalking conviction for harassing the Brumleys with recorded animal noises. The dog, which reached 130 pounds, sometimes broke free of its restraints, ran loose, defecated in Cook’s yard and barked while confined, but it didn’t bite anyone or act aggressively, the Indiana Court of Appeals said in a recent opinion. “In an effort to muffle the barking, the Brumleys tried moving the dog to various areas on the property farther from Cook’s house,” the court said. To no avail.