formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Advice, Please...

Have you ever been stuck in a 'Should I do something or should I just mind my own business?' situation? I'm in one now and I need some feedback, bloggy friends.

A few weeks ago, during one of our mini-snowstorms, new people moved in behind us. The house had been empty for a while and the only way we knew anyone was moving in was because a little white dog was in the fenced-in yard. He's a tiny thing... a Bichon, I think (or a Toy Poodle mix). It was freezing that day and there were several inches of snow on the ground... the little guy was shivering and crying. There were no cars in the driveway for a long time, so after a couple of hours of keeping watch, I opened their back door and put him inside, with bowls of water and Sundance's food and an old towel to lie on. The house was empty (of people and furniture) and I figured the new people would be back eventually... I kept an eye out, though, and decided that if no one came back by dark, I'd go let him out to pee and then put him back in 'til morning. Someone did come home, however, so I breathed a sigh of relief... until a few days later....

He was left out for hours again and, though there was no snow on the ground, it was so cold. Little dogs like that aren't meant to be out in the cold for long, at least without sweaters (and even though I loathe clothes on dogs, I realize that sometimes it's necessary). I went to the door and asked the woman who answered to let him in. I said I was concerned because it was bitter cold and he was crying. She didn't look happy that I'd stuck my nose in, but she brought him in and I didn't see him for a while.

A few days later, I found him in my driveway when I got home. I took him back to his house and gave him to the girl who answered the door. She seemed very appreciative. The next day, he was stuck between his fence and his neighbor's. I went to the door again and, though there were people inside and someone yelled something in Spanish (I couldn't understand it, but I'm pretty sure, based on her tone, it wasn't anything nice like, 'Hold on, I'll be right there!'), no one came to the door. It wasn't until I hollered up the yard to Ryan that they were ignoring me that the same girl from the day before came out and got him. A couple of days after that, I saw another neighbor taking him home, as he'd gotten out again and had traveled up through our yard and across the street.

Now they've got him tied in the yard. On a very short leash. A little while ago, I heard him crying like something was wrong. I went out to see and he was caught on something, stuck completely and unable to move. I was going to go to the door again but instead, I went in the yard and got him loose. He's been out there for hours again, and it's really cold today. He has no protection from the wind and chill and he's shivering and crying. It's going to be dark soon. I haven't been able to sit down all afternoon, worrying about him.

I hate worrying about other peoples' animals. But I can't help it. So, bloggy friends, what do I do? Do I say something to them again and earn the reputation of the nosy, buttinski neighbor? I don't want to call animal control... but I'm getting close. I've actually considered taking him and giving him to a friend who would take care of him properly. I know, I know, that's stealing and all wrong... I said I've considered it... I'm not quite there yet.

What would you do?


Lea said...

I'd call animal control. I also wouldn't go into their yard again, nor open their door... they can have you arrested for trespassing, though they sound too stupid to do it - I wouldn't take the chance. Let the authorities handle it, no matter how many times you have to call.

I'd also notify the landlords of the house if you have that information.

Other than that, what you've done so far, good intentions not withstanding can get YOU in trouble, not them.

Tabitha in Bliss said...

I think if they are going to keep him outside like that and not care they don't deserve to have him at all. Talking to them may not produce anything positive because of their past behavior. Stealing is SO wrong, but my fear of animal control is he may be placed in a shelter and not a loving home.

Poor baby :(

Lee said...

Whose problem is it? Yours? Then I would at least discuss it with animal control.

mo.stoneskin said...

Yeah I'd call animal control too. They are clearly not caring for him. You can tell when dogs are not happy and I think that would be the right thing.

Soda and Candy said...

I think Lea has it right. You've given them plenty of chances to do the right thing by the poor little fella.

I would call animal control and ask them if they would take the dog under the circumstances you describe, and if so, if they do take him, could they give him straight to you to give to your friend?

Anonymous said...

I think the next time he gets loose, you should do what you have considered doing and give him to your friend. Then, if they care enough to come looking for him just say something like " Oh, I've been worried that something like this was going to happen" That's not a lie.

Heather's M

Rachel Cotterill said...

I'd call the RSPCA, I'm guessing that's similar to your 'animal control'. If they put him in an animal shelter, you can always ask your friend if they want to adopt him from there :)

Diane said...

Lee (the first Lee :), when I opened their door, they hadn't actually moved in yet and no one was home. No, I would NEVER do that now. I did go into the yard, which I realize was wrong and could get me in trouble, but I don't think they're ugly people, just unthinking. Our neighborhood is one where everyone treks through everyone else's yards. I don't know if they rent or if they bought the house (it doesn't face our street, so I don't know if it was ever for sale).

I'm with Tabby, though... animal control scares me, as I don't want him to wind up in a shelter. But maybe they'll just come and talk to them first...? Does anyone know how that usually works?

Diane said...

Lea, sorry... not Lee :)

blognut said...

That's a tough one.

I'd call animal control and ask them what they do before you tell them where the dog lives. They might give the family a warning before they remove him from the home.

Jenners said...

Yikes. This is a hard one. You want to help the poor little dog but you don't want to get started off on the wrong foot with neighbors you don't know and who might be living there for a long time. Any chance you can confer with other neighbors in the area and act as a group so it is not you alone? This is a sticky one. And perhaps you can get someone else to call Animal Control on your behalf so you can honestly say you didn't do it. This kind of stuff is so difficult. If it was a child, no one would hesitate. Argh. I wish I knew what to do. Part of me feels like if he keeps getting loose, then he can just "run away" to your friend's home.

Jenera said...

I would call animal control. I hate to see animals outside in the cold. Why have a dog if you keep them tied up outside? Since you have made efforts to talk to them personally, I do not think it is out of line to call the appropriate people.

We had a neighbor who adopted a kitten and when it got fleas, they shaved him and threw him outside in the freezing winter. We took him in and told the neighbors we were keeping him.

dec0r8or said...

Oh, I've been there!! Before I bought this house, I rented a duplex with a nice big yard for eight years. Three years before I moved out, new neighbors moved in behind me. They were screamers, cursers (now, I curse, but not at the top of my lungs for the neighborhood to hear!), and played music really loudly from their cars, and from boom-boxes mounted in their kitchen window--facing OUT. This was a nice quiet neighborhood--very friendly!--before these people moved in.

I digress. These winners had the cutest little dog that you've ever seen--a furry little black thing--don't know what breed. They would tie it up to a stake outside on about four feet of lead, with no water on a scorching hot summer day. In the sun. I saw that for two days in a row, and called animal control. Animal control came and gave them a talking-to, from what I could gather. So for a while, the dog was left inside during the day, where it cried...but at least it wasn't frying in the sun.

A couple of weeks go by. Guess what? Dog out in the sun again. I call animal control. They come back, and take the dog away. I'm praying that they took the poor thing somewhere to be adopted. All I could think about was the poor thing getting out of that house.

Fast forward about a year. TWO new dogs. Tied up outside, barking, crying, getting loose. Oy what a nightmare. I just don't understand people like that who don't have the first clue what owning a dog entails. Dogs are pack animals. They need to be part of the family! Not tied up out back for hours on end.

OMG I am so long-winded. My point is, I condone either of your two options: calling animal control (which I did repeatedly the second time around as well), or just rescuing the poor dog and giving it to your friend. The poor little dog. He deserves a family to make him part of their pack!!

boneman said...

Screw that.
Take the dog.
It's your dog based on your first rescue.
If they call the cops (HA!) then explain it to them.
You evidently want the lil fella, right?

OK, I'm crude.
And, I'm rude to people who are rude, even if it's a small animal.
I suppose animal control is the way to go. There are laws requiring care minimums, but, girl, if they want to get out of trouble, they'll promise help and kill he poor thing.

Or....and gosh, this is an odd thing.
Everybody knows somewone like me. Somewhere in your frinds is a guy just like me.
Willing to fetch that dog up when they aren't looking and whisk it away to safety.

(I'm terrible, aren't I? I would take the thing in a heart beat, and have rescued dogs in terrible trouble.

Worse case was a clown that was feeding puppies to a pit bull.
The heck with that.
I snatched three of them before they were all gone.
Gave two away. Kept Weasel Mae.
She was a cutie, but, one day chased a cat out in front of a fast car.

OK, I'm getting windy.

Find 'me' (ask your work mates, friends, etc.) I'll step right out in front of you...don't be mad.

If I had been born in the 1840's? I'de have worked on the underground railraod getting folks out of the South.
Germany in the 40's? Working to get Jews out of danger and POWs out of the country.
I rip off lil tiny dogs from goons.
(well, I don't from here. But, I would)

boneman said...

(I'm not a bad person...really)

Michelle said...

Ummmmm Boneman sounds interesting :)

Call animal control for the 'chat'...then steal the poor little bugger.

People are supposed to supply shelter, food and love.


Moomby said...

Please take him! it looks like he'd rather be with you.

Lea said...

PS! I forgot that I wanted to thank you for sharing a blog a few weeks ago! My computer tends to shut itself down sometimes and it happened when I was checking out Tabitha's link and I had meant to come back here and thank you for sharing it, but forgot until just now. What an inspiration that woman is and a pleasure to read! So, thank you for introducing her blog, so that I could find read her and know that indeed there are angels on earth!


blueviolet said...

I'd probably call animal control at this point. There have been enough instances where it seems like this is going to be an ongoing situation. They know you've been noticing and yet the behavior patterns are not changing. It's probably time to make the call.

Heather's Auntie said...

With people like that, nothing gets through. Commit an act of mercy and remove the poor little thing. They obviously don't care about him. He deserves a better life. And you deserve a thank you.

sherri said...

Animal Control will always give them a few days to pick up the pet if they are called to remove the dog for a violation of a leash law, etc.

If you make the call, I would also suggest telling A.C. that if this becomes a matter of them putting the dog down or if the dog would be confined to living in the shelter, that you would be happy to find him a good home. I'm sure they would be happy for you to help.

I can't stand it either.

hebba said...

Call animal control. Don't feel bad about it. They are neglecting him.

I had some friends who had neighbors who tied their dog in the yard for hours at a time just like that. Finally, it went too far when they had left the poor thing out for 3 days and 2 nights without letting her in at all. When my friends went over to investigate, they saw that the people had MOVED and LEFT their dog tied up in the backyard!!

(I know this is a completely different case than you neighbors, but the theory is the same)

Call animal control. That's why they have animal control.

Jen said...

I just had a friend that was in a similar situation. She simply knocked on the door and said she knew someone who wanted a dog just like that & wanted to know if she could have it. Maybe you can do the same? Or even maybe offer a few dollars? If they're the kind of people I think they are, they'll probably give him to you free, or take even 5 dollars for him.

Do you have a local spca that can come investigate it? Do you have the ability to take pictures or video of the conditions and submit it to SPCA? Can you call the city animal control and tell them to do an animal welfare check? Tell them its got inhumane conditions & they should jump on that asap.

lisa said...

Call animal control first to discuss your options. Maybe I'm a little paranoid about today's society, but you want to make sure there won't be any retaliation for calling.

I'm not saying this will happen, but make a careful choice.

Jane! said...

Well, sounds like you've got lots of good advice already so I'll just offer to distract them at the front door while you snatch the little guy out of the back.

Blu said...

You have to help this little dog, since his owners just dont give a ***t........

Can your friend home the dog if animal control take him?..Do they ever put dogs to sleep?

So sorry that you have this upset!

Protege said...

Ok, I am probably a bit late on this one but:
Or whatever the institution is called in the US that takes care of neglected animals.
If you had not done (or done something else) already.
No question about it. If it is the way you describe, this dog is neglected and abused.
I am sure you can make an anonymous cal and they will never know it was you. Maybe the doggy can be adopted and get a better home.
Some people should never have pets.:(

Michelle said...

Wow what a confusing thing here? Obviously these people care zero about their doggie and I suppose animal control should be called? Honestly I don't know, but something has to be done. That poor doggie shouldn't be left outside all day long in the cold.

Why would people even do that? I don't get it....I wish there was some way you could take the dog and be justified in doing so.

Sorry Diane!!!

Heather said...

People like that make me SO mad! If you don't want the responsibility of having a dog, DON'T GET ONE! (Sorry, I'm all fired up now!)
I'm with my mom and aunt (who both beat me to this post somehow...), next time he gets loose, take matters into your own hands and find him a good home. If that's illegal, screw it. They don't deserve him. And like Mama said, if they come looking for him, you can honestly tell them you were worried he'd get away.
The way they treat him, you'd think they'd be glad for you to take him off their hands. Think of it as doing them (but mostly the dog) a big favor. :)
Sorry if my answer isn't exactly legal advice... but I definitely think it's the humane thing to do. I'd hate to think of animal control taking him and putting him down just because his humans are stupid.

Shanna said...

I'd call animal control or if you have one, your local ASPCA(.org). I hate worrying about other people's animals too but was raised to care for them no matter who's they are. I agree with the other commenters saying that you could get in trouble by going into their yard...last thing you want is another headache! I honestly believe that if the dog is taken away he'd be snatched up really fast being that tiny dogs are kind of a 'hot ticket' item. People love them and they're expensive to buy ... but much more affordable to adopt.

Good luck on this one, keep us updated!

Stu Pidasso said...

Diane, I am being very frank when I say that you are well within your right to take this little friend and secure him a wondeful home. If that dog were a child, they would already have had CPS there to talk to them. And I don't think you need to offer them any explanation. Obviously when said pooch is on it's own roaming the 'hood, they have no clue or concern for it's well-being.

There is no shame in providing for a better environment for any creature. And who knows how much good karma you will earn for this.


Terri said...

Diane, I don't know about in your town, but in ours, animal shelters have come a long way and they encourage adoption and caring well for pets. I would at least call them to see what your options are. And if they can't help you, then I'd say dog-napping is definitely in order.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Definitely call animal shelter, and then your friend can adopt him from there if the shelter is awarded the responsibility for the animal - Which seems likely, given your witness accounts...

Much safer, or else, they might be the kind of family that would make your life very difficult if you just took him to safety... Terrible way to treat the poor thing... Hope all works out for you and he, Diane x

dianne said...

Oh this kind of story makes me sick, poor little dog...some people should never own pets, they are irresponsible and have no concept of suffering or just dont care.
Its good that there are caring people like yourself, I have been invloved myself in some animal rescues.
I would either take him myself, sounds like he would rather be with you, get in touch with Animal Control and get them on your side and let them know there is a good home waiting for him or just dognap him and give to your would they know or probably care. ♡

Sam_I_am said...

I have bad morals and I'm all about dog-napping. I'd never go into someone's yard and take a dog, but if it gets out and runs away...

Lisa said...

never mind your own business when life is at stake- that is your own business x

Anonymous said...

I think you need to slip the owners a little "nighty-night" medicine, strip them bare, and stake them out in the backyard with food and water just barely out of reach. And, then take the dog and give it to someone that gives a damn...

Heather's Mr. Negativity

Heather said...

Haha.. Mr. Negativity is my step-dad. That's what me and Mama call him when he's grumpy!! His advice is funny, though! :)