Advice about a dog I think is being abused / neglected
I moved into a new neighborhood this past summer and walk my dog all hours of the day. There is a beautiful German Shepherd in a back yard down the street that seems to be left outside 24 hours per day. Her yard is fenced but she's chained to a post in the yard. She comes over to the fence for petting so she's not afraid of people but I can only pet her nose through the fence.
Also, her teeth seem to be very worn down so I suspect she's chewing on the chain.
Now that it's cold out, I've walked by and have seen her out at midnight curled up in a ball with frost on the leaves in her yard. I've walked by again at 5:30 am and she was still curled up in the yard.
She doesn't seem to be underfed but very dispirited. I've tried to say hello to the owner but he's a recluse and perhaps using the dog for protection. I don't really know how to handle this but feel strongly that the dog is being abused, at a minimum, through neglect. Any advice on what to do? My gut instinct is telling me that I need to do something for this poor dog.
Can you get her? If so take her and get her to a rescue organization in another town. Or do what I did, buy her from her owner.
Take the dog away from your fucked up neighbor. Call the ASPCA, the cops, whatever - just do it.
I think your local SPCA could give you the best advice. Please call! Good luck.
I think of Animal Cops when I hear of cases like this, but they're probably not available in all communities.
The problem with buying her would be the owner might just turn around and get another one without some sort of intervention from the law.
If you can steal her, do. Or you could report the abuse.
My mom stole a dog that was being abused from a neighbor. She gave it to friends, and he has been a great dog for them. The dog was tortured by a kid the neighbors were taking care of (his mom was in jail for drugs). He constantly beat the dog with sticks, and threw rocks at it. He killed the dog that they had before that one by holding it's head under water in the kiddie pool, drowning it. Luckily, they didn't get a new dog after my mom took the second one away.
Do NOT steal the dog. You MUST go through the proper channels. Call your county's animal control department first. If they can't help, ask who can. Then work very hard to talk to the neighbor. He may be a recluse and he may be nasty, but he may surprise you. It's possible he just needs help.
Do try to give that dog a better life, but do it in the proper legal manner.
You might want to take some pictures before calling animal control.
I'd also say: MAKE THE CALL ASAP! Years ago I knew a dog in a similar situation and didn't take action (for lots of reasons.) The dog had a horrible death.
Please call someone about the dog.
The ASPCA will investigate cruelty to animals. Call your local chapter and report it NOW, before it gets any colder. And report back to us!
Thank you everbody. I will definitely call the ASPCA tomorrow morning.
I can also post some pics I took of her today. What is the best website to upload them to and provide a link here?
OP, can you share the city/town in which the dog is located? Unfortunately, your results can vary depending on where you live. It might be better to contact the Humane Society rather than your ASPCA.
I'm so glad that you're going to help this poor dog. Shepherds are incredible, and I can't imagine how depressing it is for a pack animal to live in this sort of isolation. Thank you for your kindness.
Thanks R11. I'm not sure what they will say. As I said, the dog doesn't seem to have been beaten and seems fed. Not sure if neglect or leaving a dog outside 24/7 is high on their list but I think it should be.
If this owner is using her for protection, it has definitely backfired as she is so isolated she came to me immediately, I think, out of loneliness.
[quote] I can also post some pics I took of her today.
R13 = Mitt & Ann Romney
OP, please keep us updated.
Is the owner Asian?
Call PETA; they'll get some action on the problem. But do something NOW.
She doesn't even have a dog house? Is she out in the rain and snow? That is definitely abuse and you should do something ASAP. I agree that they need to be reported or they will do it again. Good luck, OP.
I've called them. Here's a pic of the Shepherd. She sleeps in the back corner of the fence where she's carved out some dirt.
What a beautiful dog. That poor baby, sleeping out in the rain and snow, with no covering at all.
Wow she's gorgeous! Personally, I'd steal her if the neighbor made it possible, but if I wasn't able to do that, then I'd definitely try to get her through animal control/SPCA.
Buy the dog a damn igloo doghouse, OP and leave the owner alone. If he's a recluse, the last thing he wants or needs is someone like you meddling in his life.
Steal him, bring him home and feed him, take him to the vet, keep him and love him.
The dumbass dog abuser can go to hell.
Please let us know what happens as a result of your call.
Dogs are generally very social creatures. To be so isolated must be very hard on the poor animal.
Thanks for the picture, OP. She is beautiful. Hope you can do something to help make her life better.
I'm almost positive that is NOT a German Shepherd but a Belgian Tervuren. See link for a picture of one.
If she IS a Terv, there is bound to be a Terv rescue in your area. Just google Belgian Tervuren and your zip code and you'll find someone. Call them and say you know of an abused Terv and then just stand back and watch them spring into action. Belgian owners are amazing.
Good luck, OP.
R27, thank you so much. I thought when I saw her that she might have been a German Shepherd mix. Now seeing your picture she looks exactly like that. I will take a full body picture and post.
OP, that so-called owner needs to be reported. Belgians are a very special breed of dog, and only available from a breeder. I hope there is some way to find out where he got this dog from, because I promise you the breeder will be more than happy to take her back, especially given her circumstances.
The are extraordinarily intelligent dogs, smarter even than a border collie or a German shepherd. They are the police dog of choice in Europe and more and more often here in the US, too. If you ever see a police dog that looks like a Shepherd but is all tan colored, that's a Belgian Malinois.
Where are you located, OP? And please, please keep us posted on what happens to that beautiful girl.
Don't just take her!! Go thru the authorities....a dog is property and you could be arrested for taking it.
[quote]Go thru the authorities....a dog is property and you could be arrested for taking it.
Arrested? You could be shot, and the owner would be well within his rights.
The only stealing stories I've heard that worked out were when someone was moving and they just grabbed their asshole neighbors dog on the go.
They are right OP, do not steal him, my post was an emotional reaction to the situation...I did not want the dog to suffer one more second than she is.
I hope they do something today about it. I can't stand it.
You are a good person to give someone a voice who doesn't have one.
PLEASE DO SOMETHING ASAP before the dog dies
I knew of a situation where a friend went into the backyard after the people had left for work. She took the poor dog to a shelter and it was probably adopted. The point is, that couple never got a dog again.
Report it. If there isn't a roof to protect her from the elements, in some states, an officer can issue a summons. Mostly though, if you report it then an animal officer can offer help to a damaged owner. Maybe something is going on there. Usually the case. By reporting it, you will be doing both animal and owner a service. Don't think you're ratting someone out. Think that you're getting help for both of them. Many times the pet is kept outside because they ruin their homes with accidents and destructive behavior. The animal officer can provide ways around that so everyone wins.
What R34 said. Please keep us posted.
Yes! Report it. Though anecdotally, I will tell you that my sister stole a dog from no-account neighbors. He was a mostly-German Shepherd mix, and quite large. They left him running around the neighborhood, and she started feeding him, then took him in, decided she would keep him, and took him to the vet, got him shots, treated his neglect (including a bad case of mange), and the family eventually moved away without comment.
Wolfie lived to a ripe old age, and if you even looked sideways at my sister, he'd give you the snarl.
Ok, this post is four days old and you haven't reported it, OP?
My town has a society that got the town to pass a law to prevent dogs from being chained for longer than one hour unattended. The town doesn't run around looking for chained dogs but relies on members of this group to handle the calls and then follow up on the complaint. Some dogs are still allowed to be tied up, with runs and without chains and this group will come out and build enclosures for the tough cases, like the ones who are spectacular escape artists.
I have just spoken with the Humane Society Investigator. This is happening in Pennsylvania and PA law states that if a dog is left out 24/7 it must have sufficient shelter to retain its body heat. Typically this would be a dog house (which she does not have.) If the dog does not seem to be abused otherwise, no other laws are being broken.
They prefer to work with and educate the owner to resolve the issue. They have dog houses they can provide free of charge. I gave the address and they will go out and speak with the owner today if they can contact him. They will then go by periodically to double check.
r22/r31 = psycho
OP, does the dog's owner have any interaction with the poor thing? Is he matted or do they groom him? I would love to have a dog like that. He is magnificent. No animal should be left outside - dog house or not - without getting love and attention from the owner.
Glad to hear it OP. you did good.
OP, any further news? Or any more pictures?
Beautiful dog. Keep us posted, OP.
I thought we'd get a very special Thanksgiving episode, but no...
Steal the dog and take her to a shelter.
How did you make out OP? Is the dog ok?
Op, please let us know how the dog is doing and if you have had any progress. Thanks.
OP, are you still around? Has anything happened/changed in the dog's circumstances?
"Steal the dog and take her to a shelter."
The owners will just get another hapless victim to "protect" their property. They consider animals slaves.
There's a special place in hell for people who are cruel to animals. Hearing stories like this makes me so upset.
[quote] This is happening in Pennsylvania
And probably in a somewhat rural area of PA, no?
I grew up there and people are really stupid and cruel about leaving dogs outside. PA is very backwards and dumb about a lot of things, and this is one of them.
We don't get many updates on Datalounge but here is one about the dog:
She now has a plastic dog house in her yard that she sleeps in at night and a bed on the porch next to the house. R54, this in Pittsburgh.
The dog actually seems very healthy albeit lonely. My dog and I walk by her yard every day and we give her a treat and scratch her. She is definitely not afraid of people so I don't think she's being abused. She pushes her body against the fence to get more scratching.
I am equally starved for affection.
Thank you for the update, OP. At least she made it through the winter, that's good to know.
Is she ALWAYS in the yard? Just because she seems unafraid doesn't mean she's getting the attention she needs. Dogs are social creatures, they are pack animals. They don't thrive in solitary conditions.
Obviously somebody (animal control?) got through to the owner to provide her with shelter and the bed. Do you think it would be possible to approach the owner? Would you be willing to do that? Maybe suggest (only if you are willing AND able) to take her along when you take your dog for a walk, just to allow her some exercise and socialization.
I know that's a long shot, most people aren't able to do what I suggested. And if you aren't, maybe try calling a local dog rescue group (there aren't any Belgian rescues in the Pittsburgh area, unfortunately) and see if they can give you some advice, or possibly try what I've suggested.
Good luck, OP, please let us know if anything changes in her status.
Good advice R57 at least the poor thing will get some interaction. This breaks my heart.
Thanks OP. it sounds like it's somewhat better but I still feel sorry for the dog.