STERLING, Va. - A Loudoun County homeowner is facing sharp criticism from some neighbors for how he is protecting his yard from unwanted visitors - by using barbed wire to keep pets off his lawn.
The homeowner said he installed the wires because he is fed up after years of people letting their pets use his lawn as a bathroom.
"It's actually embedded, tacked into the front lawn," said neighbor Jace Greenman.
With Halloween coming up, the community association has put up orange cones to identify the homeowner's yard as a hazard.
Greenman said his neighborhood is no place for a barbed wire booby trap, especially on a night when trick-or-treaters will hit the streets.
"My worst fear is that someone's child or someone's pet goes into the guy's yard for whatever reason and pierces their foot and needs some medical attention," he said.
Concerned neighbors of the Cascades Community said the homeowner on Trinity Square installed wires that zig-zag through his grass and wrap around his light pole several months ago.
"I have come home to have dogs digging in my garden and been told it's public property," the homeowner told FOX 5. "I have been told it's public property when they want to defecate on my yard. When I call people out for walking their dogs in my yard, I have had the individual say, 'I cannot tell my dog where to go to the bathroom.'"
Neighbors said calls to law enforcement, the zoning board and the Department of Health have resulted in no action as the wires are not considered a nuisance or against any rule or law.
"Until they want to be reasonable about their dogs and somehow impose fines for violators or something to protect my yard, then the wires are going to stay," said the homeowner.
For now, the orange cones and caution tape have been displayed to warn any unsuspecting walkers. Neighbors like Greenman hope for a safer and more permanent solution.
"I think they are pretty extreme," Greenman said. "I have certainly never heard of anything like that. I can only imagine how many dogs must have soiled his lawn or how many kids must have run across there in order to drive someone to do something like that."
The community association said they "hope to reach an amicable solution soon."
We have been told no one has been injured so far.