Have you ever had to call animal control on someone? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Have you ever had to call animal control on someone?

Not sure where else to put this.

I keep up to date on the animal welfare laws, and Texas this past summer passed a tethering law.

This particular neighbor means well, I know she does... but she has 4 dogs in a 15x15' backyard area, one of which is tied up using what looks like a 10-12' long lead rope... which is too short of a tether with said dog being a female German Shepherd, and legally should be on at least a 20 foot lead, probably closer to 30 to be safe.

All dogs also share two dog houses, which right now might work since two of the dogs are smaller puppies, but in about a month or two, they will not be big enough to shelter all 4 dogs.

Not once since moving here have I seen her bring any of them outside... or do anything but go out and feed on occasion. And I'm a homebody, so I kinda pay attention.

Now... I probably wouldn't be overly upset if it was just an ordinary fall or spring day... but we've had several really bad freezes lately here in Texas, and said tethered dog is in 15 degree weather all night.

There is access to food and water, and "technically" there is shelter.

And I don't want to take this girl's dogs away... but at the same time... it is against the law.

It took her a little over a month to fix fencing to keep her puppy from escaping and nearly getting into the road... and I plan on reminding her about the tethering law... but I don't think she will get anything done about it. Just a girl who works and has a lot on her plate... and really shouldn't have dogs... but she does.

So... have you ever called animal control on someone before? I'm sure I could be anonymous with it... and my concern is for the animal. But... I dunno. To me it seems a little extreme to call Animal Control... but if nothing else will be done about it. It is against the law, and the welfare of the dog comes first.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 07:09 PM
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Yes, I have.

Several winters ago I was walking my dog when I saw a loose dog running around. He was not only loose but darting back and forth across the road (not like a typical street/stray dog that understands the concept of traffic) and he was only using 3 legs, kind of dangling one of his rear legs. My husband went after him and was able to leash him. We took him home. He had no tags other than the AKC pet recovery tag. We called them but all they would do is call the owner for us (wouldn't tell us the dog's address so we could bring him home). He was hanging out with us when my sister saw him and said she actually knew who owned him. We looked up their number and kept calling....nothing. Went to their house....no one home. Finally they called back and came to get their dog. They'd been at some sporting event and said he must've got out. They actually seemed pissed they had to come over and get him, like we were inconveniencing them for saving their dog from traffic. But whatever...people make mistakes, dogs get loose. Then, a few days later, I see the SAME dog darting around in traffic in the SAME spot and he was STILL dragging that leg! Not only was he loose again, apparently they made no effort to treat the injury. That time I was furious and called the Animal Control and explained this was his second time out. I gave them the benefit of the doubt the first time, especially since the dog was very friendly and not really a danger other than to himself getting hit again. This time when I called AC, I knew the owners' names, phone, and address.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 07:10 PM
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I have a job where I ride around a lot, I see a lot of things. I have no problem
reporting animal abuse, I don't see how anyone could see it and not
report it.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 07:14 PM
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I have done it. A few years ago a neighbor to my side of my fence left a huge pit mix tied to a tree next to my fence during a massive thunderstorm. The dog was seriously aggressive and barking for hours. Previously to that, the renters at that house left a 140 lb Rottie tied to the same tree and it got loose and tried to attack me when it came around the street to my house. Saw a renter on a cross street kick his dog across the street... so yes, I will call when I see abuse and/or a dangerous situation. I own my home and have lived here since 1987. I will not tolerate renters or owners around me abusing pets or causing a dangerous situation where someone could get hurt. Yes, you can be anonymous. Have you tried talking to her or offering some help? Sometimes that works, but if not and the dogs are being abused, I would report it.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Given it a bit more thought after I posted this, I'll be calling when Animal Control is open again tomorrow. Apart from emergencies (where I have called before, due to a loose horse on the highway), you are not to call in this county except during working hours. So I'll be calling and explaining as soon as I can. Hours are only until 5 pm and that was when I got home from class and actually looked at how long the tether was, since before that I just "assumed" it was long enough, and that there were more shelters around the corner of the house. No to both of those assumptions, so will be calling as soon as they have their operating hours.

ETA: She's not abusing them... just not doing anything with them. Have talked with her about the puppy and asked about the tether... she just says "ok, thanks" and that's it. She's not intentionally being cruel or anything... just doesn't know better.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 07:16 PM
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Not is in this situation, but I would if I thought the dogs needed attention.

If you observe dogs being abused and/or neglected, then by all means contact the appropriate person. I'm not sure who the appropriate person would be - German Shepherd Club, animal welfare & rescue groups, RSPCA, Animal Control people?

Dogs don't have a voice so if you think they need help - by all means do what you have to do.

I have contacted animal control but it was to do with an aggressive american staffy that kept attacking every single dog it saw, owner ended up euthanasing the dog because the dog turned on her, so this was a different situation to yours. But you are home and you are seeing what is going on, if you feel the dogs need help, then do what you can for the dogs.

if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 07:51 PM
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I have.

I got mugged by a very friendly, emaciated red Siberian in my college parking lot last winter. She hoped right into my car and we drove down to my friends pet shop, she didn't know the dog. So I drove her over to the SPCA and we scanned her for a chip, nada. Shelter supervisor said that they knew her and had been out to see her on a complaint before BUT if I left her there the only thing they could do is charge for boarding, not for the running at large or lack of license or (most likely) lack of rabies vaccination. If I took her home and called bylaw enforcement they would pick her up, bring her right back to the SPCA and write the owners up for anything they could think of (running at large, no license, no vaccinations and hopefully make the bill so large that the owners would turn the dog over to the SPCA. So she came home with me for about an hour before she went for another car ride to a nice place with heated floors and food, instead of back to the chain in the backyard.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 08:10 PM
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I have called when the dog was trying to attack my dog every time I tried to take my dogs anywhere.

I told the neighbor to come and get her dog when it took up residence in my shed. It was a cold winter like this, -10 degrees F at night, and come to find out the bitch was pregnant. She had an igloo dog house, no bottom, just some straw in there.

She gave birth to four puppies, and never once were any of them let in the house. They all lived too, until three of them got killed in the road. 2 in one morning. I heard it, while I was out taking care of my dogs in the back before work. I took the fourth puppy and got it its shots, and neutered it and then gave it to the shelter, so they could find it a home -- it was a no-kill shelter at that time. They were pretty snotty with me, but when I said he was neutered, they said, they knew of a guy who would like him.

Chances are if you are dealing with Animal Control, which deals with laws, and ordinances, and is funded by the government, they are probably not dealing with a no-kill shelter. Government run shelters usually give strays up to two weeks for the owners to find them, and owner turn-ins, may be given 3-5 days to find an adopter, if there is room. If there is no room, owner-surrenders are often put down on the same day.

So if this gal is abusing her dog, I say call. Being euthanized in a shelter is better than being abused. If this gal is just not providing for her dogs the way you provide for yours, well, I don't know.

As for German Shepherds, it is 9 degrees here, my dogs are outside right now. I bring them in at night. But then, it gets even colder at night. They are not tethered, and they have houses and straw. But 15 degrees is not bloody cold for a dog. Today the sun was shining, it was 14 degrees, and my dogs are out there lying in the snow. They love it.

I don't understand your tethering laws. 30 foot in a 15' yard, would mean that tether would be wrapped up around stuff, and if she climbed the fencing she would likely hang herself. A 12' line, if staked to the ground gives a circle with a diameter of 24'. Most kennels sold are 5'x10' or 6'x12' -- much less room than a 12' chain is actually giving.

If you feel that you should turn someone in for breaking a tether law, I guess that is up to you. There are a lot of laws on the books that I don't feel it my business to go and turn people in for. Like going 5 miles over the speed limit, or not wearing a seat belt. If someone is being deliberately cruel, that's a whole other story. But I would consider, if the warden takes this dog, what is likely to happen to it?

Lots of dogs do not do well in a shelter environment. They become kennel aggressive, and the dog will most likely be euthanized if that is the case. If the gal hasn't been able to do shots on the dogs or pups, going to a shelter is almost for sure that they will come down with parvo.

I guess, I would feel pretty bad if the girl signed her dogs and pups over to Animal Control, and then they were euthanized for want of space, or because they felt they were aggressive, or if they got parvo. Our shelter kills them sometimes a hundred at a time with parvo -- that's why I waited for that dog to be totally vaccinated and neutered before dropping him off there. I did not take him because I wanted him. I agreed to take him because the lady was letting them get smooshed in the road. But I would have felt terrible if the dog got Parvo and had to be euthanized there.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Well, she would get a warning for the first time. I do not think anyone else has called her on it before, and for the first time, she is just given a warning that it needs to change. If nothing happens within 24 hours, then it's a misdemeanor.

There is just no reason for this dog to be tied. She hasn't once tried to escape, and where she is right now, if she does try to escape, she'd get hung on the fence... and get hung. It's not long enough that she'd just end up on the other side.

And the lack of shelter in extreme cold for this area is also a concern.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 08:43 PM
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You said there were houses. That is shelter. You will do what you want to do. We have a law here that says you have to keep your house painted, or your yard mowed below a certain level -- hard to do when it rains every day almost, for months at a time. But if you start turning the neighbors in for every violation, they might just turn you in for a law that they know about that you might not be following perfectly. Neighbors can be pretty nasty at times, especially when people have GSDs.

I have heard of people calling when the dog barked a couple of times IN THE HOUSE. Talk to your neighbor, fine. Help her out, make suggestions. But if you call the authorities on her, she may retaliate.

And if you are not breaking any ordinances or laws, hopefully, most of us aren't, but you never know, there are a lot of them; well, there are other ways people retaliate. And they target dogs. People have been known to throw poisoned meat in yards, or leave antifreeze spilled.

I wouldn't do it, not unless I really felt something has to be done.

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