Saturday, February 21, 2009

What constitutes animal neglect?

I'm just wondering what the Edmonton Humane Society constitutes as animal neglect. I read their blurb on their website- abandonment being one of the reasons for animal seizure. But what really does that mean and how does a community minded person stop habitual animal abuse?

I have a neighbour who has an 8 month old german shepherd mix that he got in November. He kept the dog inside for most of the winter, but now that it is is warm out he started leaving the dog outside- day and night. On Wednesday he got into a truck in the morning and left. It's now Saturday and he hasn't been back since. And the dog has been in the yard the entire time. It has no food, no clean water and it's shelter is under a turned over couch with a floor made of ice. What's worse is this dog has either been beaten or abused because it has gone from a bouncy little pup to a larger aggressive, fearful dog who snarls at dogs, people, and today a child that walked by the fence. It has no social skills and I now fear for its life. I called the Humane Society once last night- they called me back ( I had forgotten the street address) and I returned their call. All I ever get is the answering machine. I still haven't seen anyone over there.

I went to see the dog this morning and found a bowl frozen to the ice with congealed food all over the ground. I took over some of our dog food and put it into the bowl. The dog barked and yelped at me the entire time. When I turned to leave it ran after me, trying to smell my pants but running away if I stopped walking- and barked and barked. This dog has been traumatized and I don't know if I can help it. I don't know its name. I'll take over food until something is done but I'm not sure what other routes I can take.

This is disturbing enough with one dog, but the fact is this is his 3rd dog in three years that he's neglected. The first dog he supposedly rescued from a farmer who was going to shoot it in the head- it would have been kinder to have that happen. My neighbour left it out in the yard 24 hours a day- a big lovable St. Bernard dog named Brandy, and once it started to jump the fence he attached a chain too it and let it suffer. Then one day the dog was gone. He told us later that it jumped the fence and disappeared.

The 2nd dog was a border collie puppy named Keisha. A smart loveable pup who adored children and loved to play with my Daisy running up and down the fence. We made friends with this dog and watched how she went from a healthy girl to a skinny dog chained all the time. When he had "rescued" this dog we gave him a crate, a dog kennel and a collar. He later said that the collar's d-ring broke. I suggested it might be because it was pulling on the chain so much it was sure to cause strain on the collar. I said he should get a nice leather collar. What did he do instead? He started wrapping the chain around the actual collar instead. And then the barking began. He was working nights and left her out all night. She barked the entire time. It took 3 calls to the Humane Society to get them to come out and they said he would have to pay a fine. He had 2 weeks to comply. In the meantime the dog broke out of the yard 3 times and kept coming over to us because we have dogs and it wanted to play. Once we rescued it out on the busy street. The neighbour didn't even thank us. Finally he started putting the dog in the house, but that only lasted a week. Then one night she broke her collar and disappeared. I'm sure that wherever she ended up must be a better place than where she was.

And now there is this puppy. And it's breaking my heart to see this happen. Why do people like this get animals to simply have them tossed in the yard with no love, no thought to their health. Would you abandon a child for two days and hope they fended for themselves? Unfortunately until dogs aren't deemed as property it would seem that these repeat offenders will continue to get away with abuse and neglect every day.

The police told me they wanted me to "work things out" with my neighbour. They asked me if I had gone over to his place and knocked on the door. What for? The guy is gone? They didn't want bad blood between neighbours. This time I'm not going to let this go and I don't care if he knows it's me callying the humane society. He never asked any of us about what happened to his other dogs- I doubt he would care about this one.

Every second that dog stays in that home is eating me up. I seriously hope the Edmonton Humane Society will be looking into this today- otherwise I'm going to take this to another level. I've already taken photos- and the papers will be next. Something has to be done.

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