Neighbors leaving puppy in yard. What can I do about this?

Pointless, useless anecdote: There is a rental house next door to mine and one set of renters got a puppy and tied it to a tree in the backyard. I could hear it whining and barking all day, every day. One day it had managed to tangle itself up with it’s tie-out to the tree and was pretty much just stuck, crying pitifully. I banged on the neighbor’s door (I could see the dog’s plight from my kitchen window) and asked if they were going to leave it out there, trapped, all day long or what. First response was “That’s not our dog,” which was immediately followed by, “Oh. That crying and howling? I couldn’t hear that…”

About a week later, I was drinking coffee on my back porch when I realized I hadn’t heard the dog crying or barking. I heard the neighbor come outside and then I heard her scream. I couldn’t look, but my guess was the dog had finally strangled itself on the tie-out and she found the dog dead in the yard. I am very grateful that these sorry excuses for neighbors didn’t get another dog. I had already called Animal Control and nobody would do anything – even when they left it out in heavy rain – because it had a house (which it couldn’t get to when the chain tangled around the tree), water & food bowls (which were usually flipped over). I was * this * far away from just going over there and dognapping the poor thing. I am still sorry I didn’t.

If I’m ever in that position again, law be damned, that is exactly my plan. I will free the dog and give it a new, good home.

:eek: holy shit.

Once I was leaving when I noticed barking from a metal box outside in direct sunlight, apparently my direct neighbors had put their dog they didn’t want inside their house in this metal sweat box while they went to work and school all day long. I took the dog out(it looked like it was about to pass out from the heat(no food or water in the box and barely room to move) and it was still tied with a chain inside the box. I took it under a part of their house on pillars in total shade where large containers of water were handy, it drank desperately, I tied it and left for work.

My wife told me when the neighbor got home she was screaming and raging about who tried to kill her dog by leaving it outside its protective house.:smack:

So we never mentioned it and the dog stayed in that torture device for a few days before dissapearing.:mad:

There are laws are to prevent animal abuse, but there aren’t laws against being a shitty owner. If it’s the former, call the authorities. If it’s the latter, there’s not much you can do.

Well, just not legally. I think it’s morally permissible to steal the dog and take it to a rescue, if it’s currently (or regularly) in a situation(s) approaching mortal danger and the neighbors don’t give a shit. There’s still a risk it’s microchipped and would be returned to them, though.

It’s definitely too risky to keep the dog yourself. You couldn’t really walk it because they would see you eventually. And if it barks a lot (which neglected animals tend to do), they would probably hear it making noise in your house, too.

That website makes me so sad. I’m not even a super dog lover or anything, but it’s obvious even to me that dogs need people.

This sort of thing makes my skin crawl. Obviously, there are plenty of Big Deal Problems in the world, but animal neglect really, really gets to me. I suppose because it’s so needless: if you’re not going to take proper care of the animal, don’t own it.

It’s doubly annoying to see that the OP thinks it’s a pit bull. I’m not a fan of pits, personally, but it seems pretty obvious that much of their bad rep is due to awful owners who treat their dogs like vanity objects. Kind, attentive pit owners face such an uphill battle because of it.

This makes me want to research exactly what the penalty is for stealing a dog. Because if it’s a fine and not jail time, I’m breaking the law. Totally worth it, IMO. Call it subversion, call it rebellion, call it civil disobedience. Call it whatever you like. If the neighbors don’t give enough of a shit to care for the dog properly, why should they care if I dognapped it?

Note: I am not advocating that anyone else make such a choice, but I am not listening to a neighbor dog strangle itself to death ever again. I’ll gladly be the “criminal” in a case like that.

They will just go buy another one, it is a status symbol. Local radio stations had ads from pet stores and dog breeders specifying breed line of pit pups and talking about what good burgler guards they were.

About a year or so later there was a string of brutal dog attacks blamed on pits escaping their owners yards. Which inspired anti-pit bull legislation.

:smack:It was like a decision tree of consequences.

I stole a dog from a neighbor once. It’s a very long story, and it took months to play out. The short version is that they let the dog run loose in the neighborhood, without being neutered or have its shots or anything.

He started hanging around my dogs when we would go out for a walk, and eventually I invited him to come in the house. I would put him out at night to go home, but one night he started barking to come back in, so I started letting him stay all night, which eventually turned into days and weeks.

One day I found out who the owners were when we were walking, and tried to get them to give him to me,or sell him to me, but they refused. They started locking him up in the house all day, and sometimes in the garage - in summer, in Houston! I felt sorry for him, and every time he ran away, I let him in the house. Poor thing would come to the house in the pouring rain, looking like a drowned rat.

It got complicated, but one day I had had enough of their neglect and I took him to the Houston SPCA and said I had found a stray dog and I wanted to adopt him. Three days later he was mine, complete with shots and neutered.

When the owner came by, I had papers to show he was mine.

Link to the thread on the GiraffeBoards.

Wait wait wait…you cut off his NUTS…and you think thisis for his GOOD!?


July, which is also hurricane season in some parts of the country. Like the parts near the gulf of Mexico…hey wait a minute! :slight_smile:

Look the OP stated “It rained today and they have taken the puppy inside. So that’s good, at least it didn’t drown. That was really my main worry.” and that was July 8th. Now I understand Louisiana is a big state but here’s the weather for Alexandria on the 8th of July no appreciatable rainfall. And for New Orleans, no appreciable precipitation

As for hurricanes, I’d be worried about tornadoes and debris flying around at +100mph before death by rainfall.

But ultimately what if the dog had its own outdoor dog run instead of a leash? Is that sufficient? It doesn’t address your flooding concerns and only partially deals with climate issues since a hot day is a hot day. Are we saying that to humanely treat a dog it has to be given access to a climate controlled environment similar to a humans? If so, then there are a lot of decent people about to become dog thieves trying to “save” their neighbors dogs.

I’m nervous to mention that most pet dogs around the world eat scraps and food that has turned sour, not Science Diet. If that isn’t enough to suffice people around here buy pet grade rice(dirty or expired) and cook it with beef liver chunks for flavor. Dog food is too expensive.

As Dolores Reborn’s story demonstrates, in the vast majority of states, possession really is 90% of the law even when it comes to animals. I’ve worked in animal rescue for a dozen years, and the advice I give most people in similar situations plays out much like DR’s. If you don’t want to take possession of the dog, just surrender it to the Humane Society as a stray you “found.” Even if the dog is returned to the neglectful neighbors, if you keep “finding” him and taking him to the Humane Society, eventually the people will not get their dog back. If there are breed rescue groups in the area, they would also be interested in the dog’s plight (lots of bully-specific ones out there), and in many areas the rescues can “pull” their specific breeds from the municipal shelters. If they know when the particular dog is there, they can happen by at the same time and take him.

If you want to keep the dog, in the vast majority of cases all you have to do is seek and pay for veterinary care. Especially get the dog spayed/neutered, but at least getting an initial exam and vaccines will give you paperwork you can show as proof of “ownership.” While at the vet, have them scan for a chip. Another vast majority of chips are from AVID and there’s a good chance the people who had the dog never paid for the national registration. Most of the time, it just tracks back to the place that implanted it, whether a shelter, breeder, veterinarian, pet store. AVID is very hands off with tracking “rightful” owners down - the general assumption is the animal is yours and not “stolen” if you’re paying to register. You can register over the phone for about $20, so the next time the chip is scanned, it will have you as the registered owner, and you will be first contacted if the dog is lost, rather then the place that did the implant.

Yeah, I recently heard a story about a guy I knew who had taken a fancy to a neighbor’s dog … these people bred and apparently sold these dogs. He took the puppy out of their yard and claimed it as his own. Said he bought the dog somewhere else.

The original owners called the police on him and ultimately took him to civil court for stealing the dog. And, amazingly enough, he won.

Puppy wasn’t in an abusive situation, he just stole the dog, that’s all. From like a teenaged girl. Normally this guy was pretty righteous, this is the only time I ever heard of him doing anything unethical.

Do I have to say “don’t do this?” Because of course you shouldn’t do this.

On a similar note I was attending a concert at Emory University a couple of weeks ago, on a hot June night. They stopped the concert between selections to inform the audience that whoever had a dog locked up in their car in the parking lot, the police had just arrived to take care of the situation. I’m surprised no one threw a brick through the car window before the law arrived. The police weren’t real impressed with the owner. Don’t do this neither. Don’t leave your dog in the car like that, don’t throw bricks through car windows.

Funnily enough I saw this in the USA <ALL> the time, especially in grocery stores and Wal-mart parking lots. Never seen this particular thing outside the USA, because who wants their car to stink of dog :stuck_out_tongue:

What SeaDragonTattoo said pretty much reflects an experience I recently observed. My friend’s house is adjacent to a cemetery, where he likes to walk his dogs. One day, this way-too-skinny foxy-looking dog comes bounding out of the shrubs and goes for a hike with him and his dogs. Next day, foxy dog pops out of bushes and goes for another hike with his dogs. After a few days of this, my friend texts me a picture of the dog and asks “Should I bring him in the house? Looks like he’s starving?” I texted back “Congratulations on your new dog?” :smiley:

A few days later, I’m over there and we take his dogs out to his backyard to roam around. A thunderstorm was getting ready to blow so foxy dog appeared at the back fence. My friend looked at me and I said, “Well open the back door. See if he follows your dogs in. We’ll leave the door open for a few minutes, so if he freaks out, he can just take off.” That dog trotted into my friend’s house, tail up and wagging, as if to say, “What the hell took you so long? I’m home!” And he never left. Refused to leave, in fact. :slight_smile: Which was a good thing, because you could count every last one of his ribs from across the room, the poor guy was so skinny. Eventually, my friend took him to the vet, they scanned for a chip and said they’d tried to contact the previous owner, but nobody had managed to get in touch for about three years. The dog was clearly abandoned, so they just input my friend’s information as the new owner. Basically, the dog decided where he wanted to live and the humans just agreed to it.

After a couple months, some woman was walking around the cemetary looking for this dog. She spotted my friend in his backyard and approached him, asking if he’d seen a dog that fit the exact description of the dog in question. My friend played ignorant. I supported this because I figured that dog did not get that skinny overnight, so he must have been on his own for quite a while. Any owner who lets that happen probably isn’t responsible enough to keep a dog in the first place, and besides, the dog had made it clear where he wanted to be. Eventually, she stopped searching, but if she’d seen this dog and demanded a chip scan, it would have come up as my friend’s dog and she’d have been SOL.

Many years ago, a friend and I were walking around the town where she lived and encountered a friendly, filthy long-haired dog with terribly matted fur wandering in the street. We asked a woman in a nearby yard if she knew who owned the collarless dog and she indicated it was from a house nearby; also that it was regularly neglected and left to fend for itself. When my friend and I indignantly said we felt like kidnapping it and saving it, she smiled tightly and muttered, “I haven’t seen anything.”

So we went back to my friend’s house, got her car, drove back, found the filthy friendly dog again – who jumped happily into the vehicle – and drove him to my friend’s vet (telling him it was a stray we’d found), who discovered under the matted fur a thin, flea-infested dog much younger than his appearance and movement suggested.

My friend wound up with a happy, healthy dog who lived a happy, healthy life with her other dog in a loving home with a fenced-in backyard to frolic in.

Normally I wouldn’t steal a dog, but to this day, given the condition of that dog, I think we did the right thing.

This portion hasn’t been address by the other respondents, so I’ll throw in my ten cents’ worth:

I’ve encountered this several times over the years and have developed a means of addressing it that has been rather successful.

Note that…
[li]Dogs bark. That’s what they do to communicate. They bark when they’re happy and playful, angry and defensive, scared and lonely, and/or bored. [Yes, I know we all know this, but it leads to my next point.][/li][/ul]
[li]A dog that barks occasionally for short periods is normal and nothing to be concerned about. A dog that barks for long periods is not only experiencing problems (fear, boredom, or loneliness due to neglect, etcetera) but is a problem to others, starting with noise abatement violations.[/li][/ul]
[li]Local authorities (animal control, noise abatement, humane society, etcetera) will invariably encourage all inquirers to first make an attempt to talk to the owner of the barking dog. It is, after all, best to make an attempt work things out through rational discussion before escalating things.[/li][/ul]

When the dog is barking, I’ll go over and knock on the door. If someone answers I’ll talk to the person and explain the nuisance. If nobody answers (which is typical), I’ll go home and print out a note I’ve saved. The note is printed in huge letters basically saying something like “Your dog has been barking incessantly and it does so every day between the hours of __ and __ while you are away. Not only is this a nuisance to your neighbors, but it is a form of cruelty to your pet. Please take care of this situation before authorities are called in to take care of it for you.”

I tape the note to the neighbor’s door and, most of the time, that does the trick. The owner either gives up the dog or finds ways to placate/entertain/somehow silence the incessant barker.

On the two times the note was ignored, I recorded 45 straight minutes* of the dog barking, wrote formal letters that basically said the same thing as my note and included a CC: Humane Society where the closing and signature line would normally go. I mailed the letter to the neighbor’s address, figuring maybe the wind blew away the note I stuck on the door. That did the trick for one of the dogs. For the other I recorded another 45 straight minutes* of the dog barking, printed two copies of the letter, and mailed them to the neighbor and to the Humane society. That did the trick for the second dog.

*The reason for recording the incessant barking was to have proof if/when a field agent came to investigate my complaint. The local standards were something like 3 or more hours of barking is considered a nuisance but I figured 90 minutes of recorded tape and an explanation of “It goes on forever, I just ran out of tape” would be enough to support my claim. I’m glad the situations never went that far.

Those that the beast is looking for
Listen in awe and you’ll hear him
Bark at the moon
. – Ozzy Osborne (solo)
. Bark at the Moon