Help me help my neighbors dog!
February 26, 2011 6:12 PM   Subscribe

Is there anything I can do to help this dog?

My neighbors across the way( I live in an apartment) have a dog that they keep chained up to a heavy object on the ground.(sorry I don't know what to call it.)I have called animal control on them before because when I was walking my dog, I found that they had put their dog in a barrel (think tall trash can) with no food and water, no room to move, and in twenty degree weather. Animal Control did come out, but the dog was not taken away. They now have the dog chained up all day and night. Today I noticed that he ws caught up in the chain so I untangled his leg from it. :( I noticed that his collar was on way too tight as well. I don't know if I should call animal control again, I'm sure that my neighbors would know it was me this time. Another neighbor saw me untangle him from his chain today. Oh, I am located in Louisiana.
I know it's not my dog but it is breaking my heart. :(
posted by iabide79 to Law & Government (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I know someone who was in a similar situation. She got to know the neighbors, offered to walk their dog, and eventually they just gave her the dog when they moved. If they let you walk the dog, it will at least have some time off of the chain every day.
posted by samsaunt at 6:27 PM on February 26, 2011 [4 favorites]

Steal it. Work with your friends to rehome it. Hide it at a friend's house until you can find it a new home. Or hide it inside your house. Do it. Do it tonight.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:36 PM on February 26, 2011 [28 favorites]

As illegal and likely poor advice as it is, I'm with BlahLaLa on this one. Perhaps have a friend steal it while you have a solid alibi.
posted by bitdamaged at 6:58 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't know if I should call animal control again, I'm sure that my neighbors would know it was me this time.

And? It's not like you need or even want these neighbors to like you. If it was me, I would be calling animal control for every single thing they did wrong until the dog is finally seized. Out in the cold? Call animal control. No food or water? Animal control. These are people who have shown you that they do not deserve to have an animal, and if nobody else is going to look out for the dog, then it falls to you.
posted by specialagentwebb at 7:01 PM on February 26, 2011

Have you looked at this thread? It's a very similar question.
posted by mikeh at 7:06 PM on February 26, 2011

Best answer: Try reporting the situation to other agencies, like the Humane Society and the SPCA.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:09 PM on February 26, 2011 [4 favorites]

Best answer: And? It's not like you need or even want these neighbors to like you.

The sort of people who keep a dog in a barrel aren't the sort of people to think rationally about your actions in helping their animal. The safety of one's own family is more important than the outcome of a random animal and if they're the sort of folks who could end up putting a brick through your window or start waving a shotgun about, it pays to take action without being implicated.
posted by wackybrit at 7:12 PM on February 26, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Are your neighbors sadistic assholes or are they just ignorant? It's surprising how often simple ignorance can appear to be malice. If you steal the animal they will probably get another to take its place. Then what? (*Not that I'm saying you shouldn't steal it, I agree that you totally should.)

Try to figure out if maybe they are just ignorant, and if that's the case, you can try to talk to them. A lot of people, depending on how they were raised, really do honestly think dogs are perfectly happy on chains and in cold weather. Or, they think animals just don't have feelings at all. Offering to walk the dog for them is an interesting idea.

Another idea ... why do they have the dog at all? Is it for protection? As in, are they growing something or cooking something or keeping something in the house? If that's addressed (by the cops), the dog problem will be solved.
posted by Ashley801 at 7:18 PM on February 26, 2011

Take pictures. Send them to any (and every) local rescue org you can find (and the city also). They've likely got much better legal resources to come claim the poor thing. If you should decide that stealing/saving the dog is a better course of action (and yeah....I've been there too), it'll help you out if dipshits decide to lawyer up.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:19 PM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

What part of Louisiana?
posted by radioamy at 7:36 PM on February 26, 2011

Best answer: Call animal control again. As many times as is necessary. Going vigilante here could get you in serious trouble, and if your description of the situation is true, someone will finally just take the poor dog from them. Doesn't sound like they would care, anyway.
posted by Gilbert at 7:38 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sometimes Animal Control needs a certain number of complaints or a certain egregious behavior before they can seize a dog. Call them up and find out. When you observe the egregious behavior, call. Make as many calls as they need to determine that each time the dog is in neglectful conditions. Be aware that AC will not come out immediately and so they may miss the egregious behavior, so you may have to keep trying.

Sometimes the required behavior is to deprive an animal of water. Sometimes it's not having access to food. Sometimes it's leaving them in a place where they will hurt themselves. Generally AC has to observe this directly, so if they miss it, call again when they might have another chance. Of course all of this will vary based on your local AC.
posted by galadriel at 7:44 PM on February 26, 2011

Call animal control again. Keep calling. The problem with this, is the people who own this poor dog might get mad at you.

If you have a home the dog can go to or a rescue group willing to take him, I suggest you do one or both of the following:

1) If you are comfortable with talking to these people, bring a friend (preferably a large one or two) and ask the people if they would like you to take the dog. If they say no, thank them for their time and leave.

2) If you can steal the dog and give it a good home, I say go for it. Many years ago my mother had my father rescue (i.e. steal) a dog in a similar situation. My dad is a tough guy, he just went in and took the dog. Afterward, he said he was terrified. I am not suggesting you storm in and take the dog, but sometimes people have to step up and do the right thing.

My husband reported a situation like this. Strange thing is that he went to the pound later (he used to go and throw balls for the dogs); one of the officers said they had the perfect dog for him. Unknown to both the officer and my husband, it was the dog he saved. My husband told me if the pound did not rescue the dog, he was going to take it.
posted by fifilaru at 7:50 PM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Unfortunately, there is no way I can steal this dog. There is no way to hide this from other nieghbors due to the layout of the apartment, and I can't risk doing anything illegal, as much as I would like to.
And yes, they are the shady type of people that I definetly would not want mad at me. I can't afford to put new tires on my car right now, or replace a winshield..or get jumped in the parking lot by some crazy possibly meth addled maniac!
I'd REALLY just like to move, but unfortunately I can't right now. :(
posted by iabide79 at 8:06 PM on February 26, 2011

I've been having a problem with my neighbors and their neglected Austrailian Shepherds. I've had Animal Control out a number of times.

Every time I apologize for making them come out, but they always tell me it's fine. The one officer who comes out most actually told me that there is really not much they can do without proof. You say the dog is chained up, but if they try to take it to court there is little to go on but your word.

Start taking pictures (discreetly) and documenting what you see. If they have a long list of offences and proof then they are much more likely to be able to get a good outcome for the animal. At the very least with proof they can levy a fine on the owners, if human decency doesn't do anything sometimes a hit to the wallet will.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:40 PM on February 26, 2011

Where I'm at (not LA), there's a rescue group in my area that will get called about stuff like this and go out and talk to the owner to figure out a solution. Sometimes they can get the owner to give up the dog or at least help them take better care of it. I'm not sure how other groups operate since our city is really lucky to have some great groups involved in looking out for animals. Still, I think it's worth asking a local group if there's anything they know or can do to help. It keeps you out of the limelight while still hopefully getting the dog the help it needs. Here's a list I found for shelters in LA.
posted by stray thoughts at 8:47 PM on February 26, 2011

Contact Dogs Deserve Better. This is exactly what they're working for. If they can't do anything for the dog themselves, they should at least be able to help you figure out the next steps.
Call around to your friends too, you may know somebody that is willing to hop a fence and rescue a dog.
posted by gally99 at 9:05 PM on February 26, 2011 [4 favorites]

Rescue Ink in NY does this kind of thing. Drop them a line, and ask their advice. They might know of resources in your area, and/or be able to advice you about potential security issues to be aware of.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:49 PM on February 26, 2011

Can you set up a camera outside (or inside?) your apartment to document what's going on? If anyone asks, you can say it's a security camera.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:38 AM on February 27, 2011

Response by poster: If anyone happens to read this, the neighbors gave the dog away!
Also, I am moving so hooray! Hopefully I can find a better 'hood to live in. Geeze! T
Thanks for all of your replies.
posted by iabide79 at 4:00 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

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