If you follow Temporary Home, Permanent Love on Facebook you know that I have been growing increasingly concerned about the situation with my neighbor’s dog. I wrote about the suspected neglect here and here as well as gave some updates on the Facebook page. Yesterday, after calling Animal Control again, and then noticing what appeared to be plywood propped in front of the dog’s crate, I reached my breaking point.
Many people on Facebook suggested calling 911 since Animal Control still hadn’t arrived. I really didn’t feel right doing that but something definitely needed to be done, and fast. I was talking with one of my really good friends and she suggested that I go offer to buy the dog from the guy. I had actually already thought about doing that, so hearing it from her too sealed the deal. Rich wasn’t thrilled with the idea (what the hell would we do with the dog if the guy let me take it?) but agreed that we couldn’t wait any longer to take further action.
We were walking up to the house when the guy that I had talked to the other day, pulled up and got out of his car. “Hey! Sorry to bother you again, but I am just worried sick about your dog. I really need to talk to you about him.” At this point I had tears in my eyes which probably worked in my favor because the guy was really friendly and went and let the dog out of the crate so that I could play with him.
It turns out the guy had just moved back in with his parents while he is trying to buy a house. He too hates that the dog is forced to be outside but his parents flat out refuse to let him inside, even though he is crate trained. They have a small dog already and the guy said that was really more than they could handle. When the parents aren’t home he does let the dog inside to play and he also frequently gets to go run and play in the backyard. He has purchased an AC unit to put in front of the crate and he did already have a fan blowing on it. The “plywood” turned out to be canvas paintings. He said he was trying to keep the hot air off the dog. I explained to him that having good air flow was actually a lot better. He also works very close by and said that he never lets the dog go more than 4 hours without getting let out of the crate. If he can’t get home, he has his brother stop by and play with him. The dog also had antlers and bones to chew on which was good to see.
It was clear that the situation with the parents was not a good one. It was also very clear that the guy was touched that I cared so much and he was really opening to listening to everything I said. He said multiple times that he understood how bad it all looks and he seemed pretty ashamed of the fact that he had to have this dog in this situation. We exchanged numbers and he promised to let me come walk the dog and play with him. In a perfect world, the guy would convince his parents to let the dog come inside, but we all know this world is far from perfect.
Before anyone jumps on a soapbox and insists that none of this matters and I should keep calling Animal Control and get the dog removed, let me ask you this: Would it be better for the dog to be removed just to be put down at a shelter? I fully agree that this is no way for a dog to live, but I also think it is a short-term situation, and the guy genuinely does love the dog, wants it to be happy, and is trying to better the situation. We all know what kind of odds the dog would stand if it landed at Animal Control. I can honestly say that the dog appeared happy and healthy. I will keep my eyes very closely on the situation but knowing everything I know now, I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as what I originally thought. What do you think? Did I do the right thing?