What is the best way to deal with a neighbor's smelly dog kennel?
April 8, 2012 11:57 PM   Subscribe

I live in a house in a suburban neighborhood and my neighbor's dog lives full-time in a kennel that is on the line of our property. The neighbors do not clean the kennel regularly and it smells.

It smells enough that people who visit our yard complain about it. I don't know the neighbors...at all, really.
I don't want to be incredibly rude, and I can't really think of a way to say,"Hi, I'm [What]! You have a stinky dog!" that isn't incredibly rude.
I'm leaning toward just not going out there. I don't want to be stuck up, but at the same time, I have a dog and know that this kind of smell is avoidable.
posted by WhathaveIdonenow? to Human Relations (10 answers total)
Just tell them what you told us.
posted by J. Wilson at 12:11 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Or call your local SPCA, this sounds like animal abuse- keeping an animal in unsanitary conditions.
posted by mareli at 4:41 AM on April 9, 2012 [4 favorites]

Ugh, that is a terrible and lonely life for a dog. Unfortunately, I doubt it is against the law to keep him there 24/7. But yeah, call your local shelter and/or animal control and see what they say, both about the fact that the dog never gets out, and that it is neglected.
posted by Glinn at 5:21 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Stop in at your local building inspectors' office and ask them if the kennel is in violation of any zoning regulations regarding property line setbacks and placement of animal pens.

You might also want to contact your local health department and mention how messy the kennel is because animal waste is a public health hazard.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:31 AM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

It would be easier if you had a relationship with them already.

If you're there for a long time, just start getting to know them on little stuff. Then in a few months, say "Hey Jim. We had some folks over for a BBQ last night and we all noticed that Fluffy's kennel is a little stinky. Normally I wouldn't care, but it was noticeable enough that we couldn't really have company outside. Would it be possible for you guys to hose it down? Thanks,"
posted by k8t at 6:41 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

For the good of the dog, you could go out there and hose it down yourself. For the good of neighborly relations, I would speak with them yourself. I don't think WHAT you have to say is rude in itself, but of course, the WAY you say it will make all the difference. Be friendly, and assume they have just been too busy to notice, and you're being a good neighbor by bringing it to their attention, in the same way you'd let them know if you noticed they left their garage door open or their hose running all night.

But I would also call whatever animal authorities have jurisdiction, because that is a shitty way for a dog to live, no pun intended.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:48 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

The dog is being mistreated by having to live in unclean, unsanitary and unkind conditions. The neighbors are creating an unsanitary and nuisance condition for you. Call City Hall, and an animal welfare.
posted by theora55 at 7:13 AM on April 9, 2012 [5 favorites]

yeah, depending on the laws specific to where you live, this could be considered a (human) public health hazzard
See what Animal Control in your juristiction says about it. The neighbor may be forced to clean it up and keep it clean
Ain't cool for the dog at all either
I wouldn't just hose it off yourself though as suggested above, it'll scare the crap out of the dog if he's stuck in the enclosure while you're doing it, and the poops will still be there around it anyway. Nevermind what the neighbor might think/do about such activities on their property.
Call whomever handles animal complaints in your area and ask about it
posted by bebrave! at 7:56 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Please don't ever talk to these people. That's a can of worms you do NOT want to open.

Note their address and call your city or county "help line." Report them for every violation you can think of. Double check, but I'm pretty sure your identity will be kept confidential.

Buildings dept for zoning and set backs, health department, animal control - yes to all three.

If asked, claim ignorance. If it's as bad as you say, the city or county would have found out about the situation in their yard sooner or later. No worries. Just make the calls.

Good luck.
posted by jbenben at 9:03 AM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Thank you all. I sometimes worry that I think of animals before I think of people(my dog is pretty spoiled), but you are absolutely right: it's cruel to the dog and I should probably call the city or county authorities. And I would rather be a weasel than be at war with my neighbors.
posted by WhathaveIdonenow? at 8:49 PM on April 9, 2012

« Older EMT-B on the side?   |   Seeking short Fables / Parables about love... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.