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To report my neighbours to the RSPCA about the care of their dog?

(40 Posts)
quesadilla Tue 07-May-13 12:12:13

Don't know if I am being incredibly precious but this is really starting to bother me. My next door neighbour but one has a young, large Alsatian which is left out in their (small) garden around the clock and never walked. Am not entirely sure whether it slept outside during the recent very cold weather but it certainly has slept outside for the past month or so. It's fed and watered but that's about it, as far as I can work out. Dog hasn't shown any obvious signs of aggression that I have noticed but prone to barking loudly at any activity in the neighbouring gardens and whining to be let in. I have a 2-year old dd who plays in the garden a lot and is scared of the dog and next door (bordering their garden) are about to have a baby. The owner has told me a previous dog he had bit a child but that it was the child's fault for goading the animal (???).I don't want to over-react because don't have any evidence of abuse and I like dogs but the fact the dog is never walked bothers me and I worry that it may have a freak out one day and charge over the fence into our garden. Any advice?

miggy Tue 07-May-13 12:15:29

you just probably wont get very far. If it has food, water and shelter, I doubt the RSPCA would be to interested sadly.
Sounds very unpleasant though poor dog and can understand your concern.

AshokanFarewell Tue 07-May-13 12:19:29

Hm I'm not a dog expert at all but not walking doesn't sound fair, especially for such a big dog. I'd probably call the RSPCA or similar as it can't be good for its physical or mental health to not be getting any exercise. Some dogs do sleep outside though, apparently without problems. Does it have a kennel?

quesadilla Tue 07-May-13 12:24:06

Is that right, miggy? Do there have to be signs of actual abuse for them to get involved? Surely not giving a dog that size any exercise constitutes cruelty?

ChasingDogs Tue 07-May-13 12:27:08

It's a miserable way to keep a dog but, as miggy says, the RSPCA won't do anything if food, shelter and water are provided.

German Shepherds are intelligent (so get bored/frustrated easily) and tend to be pretty vocal (mine has an opinion on bloody everything, and is only too eager to share it) so if the barking and whining becomes a problem you could perhaps go the noise complaint route with environmental health?

quesadilla Tue 07-May-13 12:27:41

Ashokan no it doesn't have any shelter. I am on the fence about the sleeping outside bit: my DH points out that where he comes from dogs sleep outside all the time but that's in the tropics and they still have shelter and get exercised. It's the fact it's never exercised and never let into the house that bothers me. I might call the RSPCA and just find out if they have guidelines on this before making a decision.

AshokanFarewell Tue 07-May-13 12:34:47

You might as well phone them for guidance as the worst they can do is do nothing. Or there might be some information on their website.

The outside thing bothers me too, I know someone who left their puppy outside all day in December while they went out for the day. I thought that was cruel but spoke to a dog owning friend who said it was fine as puppy would be used to it and it did have access to the shed.

ChasingDogs Tue 07-May-13 12:36:12

If there's no shelter give them a ring and see what they say. They'll probably drop in and have a look at how the dog is kept and give the owner some advice. Thinking on, there's no harm in calling and having a talk with them anyway if you have concerns about how the dog is kept.

Plenty of dogs are kept outside in this country, but it depends on the dog and the accommodation provided. A friend of mine has working GSDs and they go into their (insulated) kennels and runs at night with no problems, but they have thick double coats. It would be somewhat different with say, a Yorkshire Terrier left in a shed in winter.

quesadilla Tue 07-May-13 12:38:01

I just can't see why you would go to the trouble of acquiring a huge, spirited and potentially dangerous dog in order to have it cooped up around the clock in a space smaller than a tennis court all day and night. I can understand not exercising a toy breed or something but an Alsatian ffs.

MyHouseWontSell Tue 07-May-13 12:53:07

I reported a similar situation when visiting my dad.

Large dog kept outside all day, never walked. Had food and water but no shelter.

I phoned the RSPCA and they came out and had a chat with the owner. It seemed enough to scare him into taking a little bit better care of him.

Always worth a call.

kilmuir Tue 07-May-13 12:54:41

poor dog.

TooOldForGlitter Tue 07-May-13 12:55:14

The RSPCA won't give a shiny shite. A neighbour of mine has two very large breed dogs. They are kept in the garden day and night rain or shine and never walked. They are fed and have shelter so RSPCA aren't interested. They bark constantly, can't say I blame the poor things.

furbaby Tue 07-May-13 13:05:37

Ring the RSPCA .... they won, t know its you , I would tell them that I don, t think it has food or water they will then at least visit and can check on dog and maybe make neighbours understand the needs of a dog .

digerd Tue 07-May-13 13:06:51

The animal rescues in some other parts of the world are more strict than ours then. Shelter is essential. Dogs who have very thick coats are fine in the winter, but not in the summer heat/sun. They need shade.

I also wonder what they do with the poos- hope they don't just leave it all over the lawn?

GSD dogs do need excercising every day. I would phone your local RSPCA.

likeitorlumpit Tue 07-May-13 13:12:27

its worth a call , a visit from them might get the owner to start taking it out , bloody cruel .

LemonsLimes Tue 07-May-13 13:15:00

How big is the garden? You could phone the RSPCA anonymously and just ask their advice?

burberryqueen Tue 07-May-13 13:15:36

i have read the rspca website on a different matter and if the animal is fed and watered is the main thing, as well as being able to 'express natural behaviour' or something like that.

CelticPixie Tue 07-May-13 13:16:21

I'm having a similar dilemma at the moment. A neighbour is keeping what I think is some kind of Spaniel locked in a shed or outhouse all day during the week. We are talking from around 8am to 4pm and it barks continuously until it makes itself hoarse. Another neighbour has apparently reported the already and was told that because the animal has food, shelter had water then there is nothing that can be done, however to me it seems horribly cruel. A dog should be a part of the family in my opinion.

burberryqueen Tue 07-May-13 13:19:45

my landlord keeps a pony in the field behind our house that is full of ragwort (poisonous to horses) his water is never checked and nor is he and he has to live with no company, AND the landlord is banned from keeping animals. the rspca came and nothing was done. while we have been living here it has been ok as we check him and see to him,but we have to move out next week. It is heartbreaking. call them anyway.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 07-May-13 13:21:15

burberry there must be someone else you can call other than the RSPCA. Is there a local pony sanctuary? They will know how to take the matter forward.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 07-May-13 13:22:04

I can't bear the stories of animal neglect that come forward on threads like this, they're heartbreaking.

fluffyraggies Tue 07-May-13 13:38:11

I called the RSPCA about a neighbour 2 doors down from our old address a few years ago. He was keeping 2 black labs in the back garden up to their knees in shite sad

They were fed and watered every day, and once a week or so they were taken out with him shooting. They never went into the house and sometimes randomly spent whole days and nights shut in a shed. Barking. In the heat or the cold. If the state of the inside of the shed was anything like the garden it must have been horrific in there.

The RSPCA came out and checked on the dogs. The owner was out at the time but they let themselves in by the back gate to have a look around. It was summer. It stank. The dogs were friendly and their weight was good but the bloke said he would be back to talk to the owner about cleaning up after the animals and about keeping them shut in the shed.

Things improved for the dogs a little after that. The owner cleaned up (once a week) and the dogs were allowed to come and go from the shed. He knew it was me who phoned the RSPCA on him and had a go at me but tough.

burberryqueen Tue 07-May-13 14:53:37

done that hohoho, good idea, i emailed the nearest sanctuary for advice and found that the manager was an old colleague of mine from our riding school days in the dim and distant past and many miles away! thanks for good advice!

quesadilla Tue 07-May-13 14:57:19

Thanks all... Think I am going to call RSPCA anonymously in the first instance and just ask what their guidelines say about dogs not being walked. I don't want to call them out and risk a fallout with the neighbours if the RSPCA aren't going to take action. Its worth doing only if it results in a positive outcome for the dog.

LastMangoInParis Tue 07-May-13 15:00:14

A long shot - but do you know anyone who has the time, patience and experience to give this dog some TLC (and ideally is able to provide this dog with a home)? If you do, is there any way that you could gently persuade your neighbours that your friend can help them out by exercising the dog - especially when their baby's born (you could hang your offer on this?)
I know some informal 'rescues' that have worked in this way, and I agree that RSPCA aren't likely to do much (although I'm told they're obliged to visit anyone who's been reported to them).

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