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Dog neglect... Is there anything I can do?


J-rap
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We were out of town for awhile, and when we came back, we found that our neighbor (two houses down) has two new dogs.  They are big, maybe Labrador and German Shepherd mixes.  They look full-grown, but young and energetic, maybe two years old.  It is such a sad situation, it just breaks my heart.  They are both left on about 8-10 foot leashes all day long, from 7am until night.  (The yard has no fence.)  I think they are brought in at night.  They are never allowed to just run;  they seem to be completely ignored all day.  They do bark (starting at 7am, when they are put outside), but honestly, the barking doesn't bother me as much as just feeling really sorry for them. 

 

I'm quite sure they are just meant to be watch dogs.  This is a family that I think is just barely keeping it together.  The home and garage are in terrible shape, junk is everywhere.  (I feel very sorry for the kids that live there too, but that's a whole different story.  :( )

 

We live in a small town...  No humane society or anything like that.  What is considered acceptable treatment of dogs?  I don't think they are physically abused, just very neglected and stuck on those short ropes all day.  What a sad life. 

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Honestly, as long as they have access to water all day long and are being fed there isn't really anything you can do.  It may seem neglectful to leave dogs out on a line all day but most dogs would do absolutely fine with that and it not be neglectful for them at all.  Others may not handle it so well because they need to get more movement and stimulation throughout the day.  When my dogs are outside I'd say they are in the same 10 foot area for most of the day if not all of the day even though they have the whole yard to run around in.

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Check your county's animal ordinances.  Most counties have them posted on their website somewhere.  Ordinances can vary a lot, especially depending on how rural/urban the county is.  Usually the minimum requirements we see around here are for food, water and "adequate" shelter from the elements.  What constitutes "adequate" is sometimes left up to animal control, but typically it means somewhere the animal can stay dry during rain/snow and have some shade during the summer.  And anti-tethering laws are becoming more and more common (for very good reasons, but I won't get on my soapbox about that right now).

 

If you can't find anything online, call animal control and ask.  Or if your county doesn't have animal control, call the non-emergency number for your sheriff's department.  In some rural counties here there are no dedicated animal control officers, so the sheriff's deputies handle those issues.

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Check your county's animal ordinances.  Most counties have them posted on their website somewhere.  Ordinances can vary a lot, especially depending on how rural/urban the county is.  Usually the minimum requirements we see around here are for food, water and "adequate" shelter from the elements.  What constitutes "adequate" is sometimes left up to animal control, but typically it means somewhere the animal can stay dry during rain/snow and have some shade during the summer.  And anti-tethering laws are becoming more and more common (for very good reasons, but I won't get on my soapbox about that right now).

 

If you can't find anything online, call animal control and ask.  Or if your county doesn't have animal control, call the non-emergency number for your sheriff's department.  In some rural counties here there are no dedicated animal control officers, so the sheriff's deputies handle those issues.

 

It's probably the sheriff's department here then.  I'll see what I can find out.  Maybe it's considered within the legal boundaries, but NEVER being able to run and stretch their legs, especially for big, energetic dogs, seems cruel.

 

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We have neighbors like that. Long story short, they left their dog outside in the heat of the summer last year and it died. :(

 

I hope you find somebody to contact. The Humane Society here couldn't help us, and the police were only "helpful" after the fact.

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There is a house like that next to the gas station we frequent.  Only they leave the poor baby out 24/7.  There is nothing that can be done. I wish I could figure out a way to help him but There are no laws/rules that they are breaking. Where I'm from it is perfectly acceptable treatment.  That said, maybe there are mitigating circumstances?  My sister has 2 very large dogs (great Pyrenees mixes) one of them must be chained when he goes outside otherwise he climbs/jumps her 6 ft. tall fence.  There is nothing else she can do to keep him safe (he's to big to "walk").  He only spends an hour or so at the longest alone outside but someone driving by might accuse her of neglect. She does take him to my moms about once a week where he can roam free but is that enough?  She's considering finding him a new home. No helpful advice, just understanding on how hard it is to watch and be able to do nothing about it.

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We were out of town for awhile, and when we came back, we found that our neighbor (two houses down) has two new dogs.  They are big, maybe Labrador and German Shepherd mixes.  They look full-grown, but young and energetic, maybe two years old.  It is such a sad situation, it just breaks my heart.  They are both left on about 8-10 foot leashes all day long, from 7am until night.  (The yard has no fence.)  I think they are brought in at night.  They are never allowed to just run;  they seem to be completely ignored all day.  They do bark (starting at 7am, when they are put outside), but honestly, the barking doesn't bother me as much as just feeling really sorry for them. 

 

I'm quite sure they are just meant to be watch dogs.  This is a family that I think is just barely keeping it together.  The home and garage are in terrible shape, junk is everywhere.  (I feel very sorry for the kids that live there too, but that's a whole different story.  :( )

 

We live in a small town...  No humane society or anything like that.  What is considered acceptable treatment of dogs?  I don't think they are physically abused, just very neglected and stuck on those short ropes all day.  What a sad life. 

 

How long have the dogs been there? Have you talked to the neighbors at all about them? Not saying you should go tell your neighbors what they should do with their dogs, but maybe this is only a temporary situation. I would talk to them first before doing anything else.

 

(My opinion is probably colored by the crazy neighbor who called the cops on us when we had our dog outside on a lead because we were painting a bookshelf in her normal area on the porch and she kept jumping the fence when we had her in the yard. Obviously I don't know your neighbors. So YMMV.)

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Thanks everyone...  I posted this and then left for the evening!

 

I'm pretty sure these are the neighbors' own dogs and that this will be their permanent circumstances.  The family used to have two other dogs that they handled in the same way.  Those dogs seemed very old and mostly wanted to sleep.  The family just moved into our neighborhood last year, so I didn't really know their circumstances.  They were on 8-10 feet rope all day out in their front yard.  I would spend a little time with them every day when I walked past them.  They were always happy to see me and I felt sorry for them, although at least I could see that they were old and didn't really want to do much but sleep anyway.

 

Now since we were away and came back, those two dogs are gone and these bigger, younger dogs seem to be their replacements.  They are kept behind the house now instead of in front, I suppose because they are more likely to react to people walking by (?). 

 

I did look up our city's dog ordinances and this is what it says:

 

*All Dogs and Cats must be licensed. Licenses are available for $20.00 fee and are good for the life of the animal. License are sold at the Department and at Perfect Paws (Dog/Cat pound)

*City ordinance limits the number of dogs/cats you can have. The maximum number is four, with only three dogs allowed.

*All dogs and cats must be restrained at all times. In addition, dogs over 50 lbs, are not permitted to just be outside on a leash if unattended. They must be in a kennel or fenced in yard.

*A dog that barks intermittantly for more than 10 minutes, violates the noise ordinance.

 

So I suppose technically the third one would pertain to them, although that's probably meant more for the safety of other people not for the welfare of the dog.  (And a small kennel would be worse than a short rope!)

 

I've been talking to the dogs/giving them attention every time I walk through the alley past them so they get to know me.  I'm not sure of their temperaments yet although from a distance they seem friendly. 

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