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    • monkeychops
    • By monkeychops 20th Nov 17, 10:02 AM
    • 164Posts
    • 276Thanks
    monkeychops
    Neighbours' dog
    • #1
    • 20th Nov 17, 10:02 AM
    Neighbours' dog 20th Nov 17 at 10:02 AM
    Me and OH moved in May. Next door neighbour has a shih Tzu. Cute little dog, bit yappy but doesn't bother us.

    We realised quickly that if the neighbours are there (male, female and 3 sons youngest about 12) the dog is tied up outside. When they go out the dog is indoors.

    Most days the dog was put outside at around 8am and not taken in until 10pm, sometimes later. Although not thinking this was great we just thought well the weather is warm so ok.

    Anyway because of a close family member's illness we have been away from our house until 2 weeks ago. Of course the weather has turned much colder. The dog is still outside for hours on end.

    He has food and water and they leave the shed door open for him to go inside but it is hardly going to be any warmer in there is it? He is tied on a lead and then a piece of rope. It is not very long at all.

    So he can't run around the garden. The garden is pretty big and very secure so he wouldn't escape. Most days he has been outside from 8am to around 8pm. The sons play in the garden but not with the dog. I have seen them walk past the dog and totally ignore him. The adults do the same. I have not heard them even speak to the dog.

    When they go out they pick the dog up and put him inside. So straight off the rope and picked up. I don't know but I would guess that he is in a crate when indoors.

    He seems to get no walks, no interaction etc. This weekend he was in the garden from 8am until 8pm. It was cold and it rained. I think he went into the shed when it rained. Sunday they were out from 9am until 2pm so the dog was indoors. Literally the second they got home I saw the woman carrying the dog and on the rope he went. He was then outside until 7pm.

    I feel so sorry for him. What a horrid sad life he has. No walking, no playing, no interaction that I can see or hear (walls are pretty thin so would probably hear if it sounded like they were playing with him in evening).

    Now the problem. Do I report to RSPCA knowing they will probably do nothing as dog has food, water and shelter. If they do come out the neighbours will be pretty sure it was us that reported so on a bad footing before even really getting to know them. We have spoken to the male who seems ok but not the woman.

    I am becoming obsessed with looking into their garden at him looking so sad and dejected. I speak to him through the hedge. We have 2 dogs and we are always walking them, playing with them, talking to them etc.

    I am just getting more and more upset about the poor thing. Any ideas what I should do?
Page 1
    • bmthmark
    • By bmthmark 20th Nov 17, 11:48 AM
    • 212 Posts
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    bmthmark
    • #2
    • 20th Nov 17, 11:48 AM
    • #2
    • 20th Nov 17, 11:48 AM
    That is sad, poor dog.

    The problem with ringing the RSPCA is that they will not see this as neglect as the dog is being fed/water and shelter.

    Personally I would try and speak to the neighbour (in a friendly way) and somehow mention the dog and see what is said about it. They may open up and say its too much for them or if they have some other issue. It's worth trying to find out what the problem is, it could be anything.
    Once you find out the problem, then maybe you could help with a solution.
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 20th Nov 17, 11:52 AM
    • 1,876 Posts
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    comeandgo
    • #3
    • 20th Nov 17, 11:52 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Nov 17, 11:52 AM
    While it is sad it’s not regarded as neglect so I would not call the RSPCA. Could you offer to take it for a walk when you are walking your own dogs?
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 20th Nov 17, 11:55 AM
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    bugslet
    • #4
    • 20th Nov 17, 11:55 AM
    • #4
    • 20th Nov 17, 11:55 AM
    And if it is too much for them/kids lost interest in it, then I'd offer to take the dog off thier hands (I realise that may not be practical for you, but hey when did practicality ever get in the way of dog love).

    I'd probably offer them money if I thought it helped.

    Poor dog, it's a rubbish life it has at the minute
    • Threewheeler
    • By Threewheeler 20th Nov 17, 12:39 PM
    • 85 Posts
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    Threewheeler
    • #5
    • 20th Nov 17, 12:39 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Nov 17, 12:39 PM
    Why not offer to take the dog out for a walk yourself, it is a good way to get chatty and perhaps later on mention that you have a concern for the animal during the colder days.
    Threewheeler
    • monkeychops
    • By monkeychops 20th Nov 17, 1:09 PM
    • 164 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    monkeychops
    • #6
    • 20th Nov 17, 1:09 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Nov 17, 1:09 PM
    Yes I think I will have to try and chat more to them and casually mention the dog.

    The male told us that it is his girlfriend living in the house and it's her dog. He also said he doesn't live there but he obviously does, not that we care.

    I haven't really seen the woman to speak to although my husband has and he said she was a bit off with him and didn't want to talk so maybe not that easy.

    Offering to walk him is not straightforward. We try and walk our dogs together as I cannot walk the two on my own. Because of the hours my husband sometimes works I do have to walk the dogs on my own so I have to do 4 walks a day (2 walks each) for at least 45 minutes each. They are biggish dogs and need a lot of exercise. I have some health problems and some days it is a struggle enough for me to walk them. Also one of my dogs doesn't like other dogs so it would not be feasible to walk them together.

    I worry too that it looks really rude to suggest we walk their dog. If someone said that to me I would be annoyed. I don't want to annoy or offend her particularly as I don't want to fall out with a neighbour especially so soon after moving there.

    We don't really want another dog but if they didn't want him we would take him as long as he got on with our dogs.

    I didn't think the RSPCA would be interested. What about dog wardens? Do they only deal with dogs that are a nuisance?

    I feel I have to do something as I am getting really upset about him and for him. If they were abusing him by hitting him or similar I would have no hesitation in having words with her and reporting her but as it is not so clearcut I am being more cowardly about it.
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 20th Nov 17, 3:09 PM
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    bugslet
    • #7
    • 20th Nov 17, 3:09 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Nov 17, 3:09 PM
    I don't think it's cowardly of you at all, it's natural hesitation at how to best approach someone with what is in essence a criticism. You are just trying to find the best way to couch that criticism, so it doesn't sound so bad.

    Unfortunately I don't think there is much you can do beyond trying to raise the subject as tactfully as you can.

    Dog warden wouldn't be interested either.

    TBH, if I knew someone elsewhere that would give it a decent home, I'd have no compunction about nicking it. ( Not suggesting that for you BTW).
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 20th Nov 17, 3:23 PM
    • 3,971 Posts
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    sheramber
    • #8
    • 20th Nov 17, 3:23 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Nov 17, 3:23 PM
    We had a similar situation with a dog left out all day every day.

    the garden was under three foot high weeds and stank as it was never cleaned.

    We contacted Environmental Health who visited and also called in the dog warden.

    The garden was cleaned up -20 black bags worth- and the dog was not shut out any more,

    Defra have a Code of Practice for the welfare of dogs available online which advises on what is required by the Animal Welfare Act.
    • Kim_13
    • By Kim_13 21st Nov 17, 3:10 PM
    • 1,448 Posts
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    Kim_13
    • #9
    • 21st Nov 17, 3:10 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Nov 17, 3:10 PM
    Would you mind the dog playing with your dogs? Perhaps you could suggest they play together occasionally, as you've noticed the dog seeming sad. See if anything changes once they know you've seen the dog, then go from there.
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    • JoBatch80
    • By JoBatch80 22nd Nov 17, 12:31 PM
    • 2,135 Posts
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    JoBatch80
    If your gut instinct is telling you something is off, report it. Better to have the house on the RSPCA etc radar than not knowing at all.
    Once you've swam in the sea, a lake will no longer do.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 22nd Nov 17, 12:45 PM
    • 28,635 Posts
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    Mojisola
    Next door neighbour has a shih Tzu.

    We realised quickly that if the neighbours are there (male, female and 3 sons youngest about 12) the dog is tied up outside.

    Of course the weather has turned much colder. The dog is still outside for hours on end.

    He has food and water and they leave the shed door open for him to go inside but it is hardly going to be any warmer in there is it? He is tied on a lead and then a piece of rope. It is not very long at all.
    Originally posted by monkeychops
    That is sad, poor dog.

    The problem with ringing the RSPCA is that they will not see this as neglect as the dog is being fed/water and shelter.
    Originally posted by bmthmark
    The RSPCA leaflet on dogs says - "The RSPCA advises against keeping dogs outside because it can be very difficult to meet their needs. Living in a cold or wet place can cause a dog to suffer and may lead to illness."

    monkeychops - you could quote their information back at them if they aren't interested in coming out to check on the dog.
    • krlyr
    • By krlyr 22nd Nov 17, 3:14 PM
    • 5,823 Posts
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    krlyr
    RSPCA might act on the five freedoms -
    1. Freedom from hunger and thirst: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
    2. Freedom from discomfort: by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
    3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease: by prevention through rapid diagnosis and treatment.
    4. Freedom to express normal behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
    5. Freedom from fear and distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 22nd Nov 17, 3:21 PM
    • 60,962 Posts
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    PasturesNew
    There are two things here really:

    Shelter
    Companionship/proper exercise.

    He's got shelter, dogs are animals, it's a fairly new thing for family pets to not be outside in the dog kennel - and that one has a whole shed.

    He's on his own and not being taken out 2-3x a day to run about. That's where the owners are failing.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 22nd Nov 17, 5:05 PM
    • 28,635 Posts
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    Mojisola
    He's got shelter, dogs are animals, it's a fairly new thing for family pets to not be outside in the dog kennel - and that one has a whole shed.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    He's got an unheated shelter - that might be fine for some breeds but Shih Tzus were bred to be indoor companion dogs.

    They don't cope with cold weather and can also have problems if left outside in hot weather because they can't pant enough to keep cool.
    • Alvinism
    • By Alvinism 23rd Nov 17, 3:00 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Alvinism
    Next time you hear the owners in the garden, go and start talking to the dog through the hedge. Ask the dog how he is, ask if he is cold, etc. - an indirect way of telling the owners what you think!
    • Merlin's Beard
    • By Merlin's Beard 24th Nov 17, 8:10 PM
    • 174 Posts
    • 824 Thanks
    Merlin's Beard
    The RSPCA leaflet on dogs says - "The RSPCA advises against keeping dogs outside because it can be very difficult to meet their needs. Living in a cold or wet place can cause a dog to suffer and may lead to illness."

    monkeychops - you could quote their information back at them if they aren't interested in coming out to check on the dog.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    The problem isn't necessarily what the RSPCA think is right or wrong - it's what they potentially could prosecute in a civil court under, which is the Animal Welfare Act. It doesn't matter if it's "not good" - if it's "not illegal" then no one can legally stop the neighbours keeping the dog how they want to.

    However, sometimes they can use the uniform to enact change even if it's not something that anyone can do anything about legally, so it still might be worth a phone call.
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    • elsien
    • By elsien 26th Nov 17, 9:33 PM
    • 15,417 Posts
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    elsien
    Next time you hear the owners in the garden, go and start talking to the dog through the hedge. Ask the dog how he is, ask if he is cold, etc. - an indirect way of telling the owners what you think!
    Originally posted by Alvinism
    That's very passive aggressive, and a sure way to wind the neighbours up.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 28th Nov 17, 7:55 PM
    • 23,352 Posts
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    Jojo the Tightfisted
    When I chucked an old jumper and some crunchies over onto the neighbour's balcony to keep her kitten warm, as it had been put out all night when it was snowing (and nicely spoken to her in the morning about how sorry I felt for the sweet little thing because it had got so cold so suddenly, so she wasn't angry with me - she chatted about how her sons weren't as thrilled with it as she thought they'd be), it took six days and the thing was dropped off at my house with a scratching post and catnip mouse first thing Sunday morning.


    Thirteen years later, the fluffy ratbag is still here.


    In short, rather than being grumpy, calling the RSPCA - who will do nothing - or making sarcastic comments through the fence - being nice about it can end up with you gaining a perfectly good animal (slightly used, one owner from new) for absolutely nothing...
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

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    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 29th Nov 17, 2:00 PM
    • 1,961 Posts
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    Ilona
    I completely understand how you feel MC, I was in a similar situation. Small dog up the road in a filthy garden 24/7, all weathers, shed falling down, owners only went out occasionally to put dried food in the shed. It was breaking my heart. Rang RSPCA local and national, they didn't want to know.

    I asked if I could take it out for a walk, they said yes, I walk dogs for other people anyway. They stopped answering the door to me, but I still walked their dog without asking. This went on for three years.

    I eventually removed dog and didn't take it back. He was with me from September to December, then they wanted him back. I had to hand him over. Months later I went to their door and asked if I could take the dog for a walk. They said yes, and so the cycle started again.

    He was getting older, so I took him again. This time I put a note through their door asking if he could stay at mine while it was cold (January). I kept putting notes through the door letting them know how he was, and to tell me if they wanted him back. They didn't want to speak to me. They never did reply, so I stopped the notes, they even saw us in the street and totally ignored us.

    Dog was with me for three years until he sadly died of old age. I wish I had taken him sooner and not let it go on for so long. I went through agonies worrying about him.

    I don't know what you should do, but I do know how heartbreaking it is to see an animal being neglected.

    Ilona
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    • ehdx
    • By ehdx 29th Nov 17, 2:08 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    ehdx
    Reading this has really upset me. The poor dog. We have a Labrador and she doesn't even like going outside to the toilet when it's cold so I can't imagine how it must feel for the poor dog being stuck outside on it's own with no interaction. I'd call the RSPCA, you have nothing to lose by giving them a call. If they aren't willing to do anything maybe you could ask them what they advise you should do? Clearly this treatment is not fair.


    If not, I'll come and steal the dog and give it a home. Poppy is looking for a little friend.
    Last edited by ehdx; 29-11-2017 at 2:20 PM.
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