Author Topic: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog  (Read 3021 times)

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LadyMisha

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Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« on: February 16, 2011, 12:13:29 PM »
I need help pretty desperately.

On Saturday, two weeks to the day our Tinky girl died, we found a stray in the yard.  I called him over and he was just the sweetest thing.  No tags, but a collar that was 2 inches wide with a ratted cord that had apparently been used as a tether at some point in time on him.  Honestly, we thought he was a stray who must have been wandering for a long time due to the look/tightness of the collar (he has a callous built up where it rubbed him raw) and the faded end of the tie that was dangling. 

We took him inside, gave him a bath to see if he had a tattoo marking (he was filthy).  No tags, no marking.  Ok, someone will put up signs looking for him.  No signs up in the neighborhood that day or Sunday.   We named him Rocky since he perked up when we were tossing out names for him and we said that one.

So, we decided that maybe this was God's way of telling us he took Tink because he was giving us someone new who needed a loving home.  We took him to the vet Monday night and got him checked out.  No parvo, thank goodness.  But he does have whipworms, hookworms and heartworms; in addition to being extremely underweight (probably due to the worms) and a pretty raw spot on his tail that the vet shaved and cleaned.  No microchip.

After much soul searching on Monday, we decided to keep him.  Still no signs up in the neighborhood.  We clipped his way long nails and bought him a new collar and leash to display his new tags (rabies and such proof) from the vet.

Tuesday my DD was walking him when a friend of hers, K, came up to her. 

K - Hey, that looks like Rocky!
DD - <confused look>  We named him Rocky on Saturday, what do you mean he looks like Rocky?
K - The folks over in that house have a dog that looks just like that, named Rocky.
DD - <dawning horror>  Is he still there?

K went over and verified that the dog is no longer in the pen in the backyard they kept him in, 2 streets over from ours.

K - Hey, don't sweat it, I won't tell you've got him.  They never treated that dog right anyway.  He was always out there, whether it was snowing or hot or raining.  Y'all will take care of him.

Cue my daughter calling me in a panic.

I've called the SPCA and Animal Control.  They have given me several scenarios:

1.)  Go and talk to them.  See if they will let you keep the dog.  Maybe offer to pay them some money for him to sweeten the deal.  The problems with doing that are:
     a.)  If they choose not to sell / give us the dog, we have no choice but to return him to a horrid home where he will likely be put outside and left to die.
     b.)  Animal control did say that they would be able to compel them to take him to a vet for the hookworms and whipworms, but not the heartworms.  So, at least we could make them take him to a vet at least once.  The only problem there, is they would likely be as much predisposed to putting him down as treating him.

2.)  Just keep him and hope they don't come asking about him (my least favorite of all options, but has to be said).

3.)  Take him to the SPCA as a stray and then put a deposit down to officially adopt him from the pound.  We would literally pay the deposit at the same time we take him in.  This solution was also recommended by Animal Control, in case we didn't feel we could talk to the owners period.

Now, I'm the type of person who doesn't mind talking to anyone.  However, if the house is the one I'm thinking, these people are not the nicest folks in the world.  I'm torn on what to do.  Number 3 doesn't seem morally right to me, but it does seem to be the one that will make everything nice and official without having to worry over going to their house and saying hey, I want your dog.

What would you do?
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Salvage3

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 12:17:55 PM »
Go with Number 3, and I would actually appreciate that advice given to you by a "humane" agency.

These people have abused the dog --whether it be by neglect or intention --and every animal deserves to have a caring and loving home. 

PeasNCues

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2011, 12:18:13 PM »
i believe that you are supposed to actively search for an owner before taking in a dog you find and calling it your own. So, while you looked for fliers, you should have been putting fliers up.

Since you had never seen the dog, you don't know that he was kept in horrible conditions. You have no idea how long he was roaming before he found you.

I would contact the owners and hope for the best. In reality, he is not your dog yet. He is till theirs. Knowing that he is officially yours will relieve a lot of stress.
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

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Poirot

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2011, 12:21:42 PM »
I'm sorry you're in such a horrible spot.

I would go over and talk to them without Rocky. If they don't agree to give you the dog, or sell him for a nominal amount, I'd skip to number 3 immediately and take him to rescue and put down the deposit. The SPCA will make sure the dog's physical issues are treated. I think the bad dog parents won't want to pay any of the expenses, and you'll wind up with him pretty quickly. You will likely pay more vet bills through the SPCA, but you would pay them to your own vet anyway.

BTW, congratulations on your new family member!
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ncgal

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 12:25:02 PM »
Go with Number 3, and I would actually appreciate that advice given to you by a "humane" agency.

These people have abused the dog --whether it be by neglect or intention --and every animal deserves to have a caring and loving home. 

POD.  Sounds like from your decription he had not been taken care of.  If they miss him, they will go looking for him at the SPCA.

MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 12:25:50 PM »
I like number 3.  I cannot advise wanting to even speak to Rocky's original owners with the chance that they will want their dog back.  Go with the third option, especially since the authorities advised it.
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Giggity

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2011, 12:27:33 PM »
I vote #2, myself. No money or time expended, and you know the dog's safe 'cause he's with you.
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PeasNCues

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 12:28:57 PM »
I'm kind of surprised - isn't number three like tricking people into losing their pet?

As I said, you really don't know the conditions he was kept in or how long he had been roaming. Perhaps his adventures caused his poor condition.

Perhaps they are horrible people! In which case, keep an eye on the situation and call SPCA to report abuse.

But this neighbors should be made aware that their missing pet has been found. It is their dog, as much as the OP has fallen in love with it.
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

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gramma dishes

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 12:30:55 PM »
i believe that you are supposed to actively search for an owner before taking in a dog you find and calling it your own. So, while you looked for fliers, you should have been putting fliers up.

But if the owners give diddly squat about their dog, shouldn't THEY have been the ones putting up fliers and asking around if anyone had seen their dog?  Especially since he had no tags!

Given the circumstances, I'd go with #3, but even if you chose #2 I think you could do so with an absolutely clear conscience!

If you DO go with #3 be sure you take copies of the vet bills you've already paid.  Same thing if his previous owners suddenly decide they really want him back -- they should pay the vet bills already incurred.

jibby

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2011, 12:32:01 PM »
#3, unless the dog was missing long enough to have gotten into that condition (and I don't know how long that would be).  Do you know K to be an extremely reliable source?  That would also make a difference to me, i.e, if she's prone to exaggeration.

Is there any way to find out exactly how long the dog was missing?

PeasNCues

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2011, 12:32:20 PM »
i believe that you are supposed to actively search for an owner before taking in a dog you find and calling it your own. So, while you looked for fliers, you should have been putting fliers up.

But if the owners give diddly squat about their dog, shouldn't THEY have been the ones putting up fliers and asking around if anyone had seen their dog?  Especially since he had no tags!

Do we know for sure that they didn't? We don't know how long this dog has been missing or what the owners did to find it.
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

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hyzenthlay

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2011, 12:38:26 PM »
As I said, you really don't know the conditions he was kept in or how long he had been roaming. Perhaps his adventures caused his poor condition.

You don't get calluses from an overly tight collar in 2 weeks of roaming. And frankly these days responsible owners chip their animals. Even if you only take your animal to the vet for emergencies, all the vets I know really push the chipping process.

Even if all the other damage was caused by roaming free I think those two signs alone are sufficient to justify option number 3.

PeasNCues

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2011, 12:42:25 PM »
As I said, you really don't know the conditions he was kept in or how long he had been roaming. Perhaps his adventures caused his poor condition.

You don't get calluses from an overly tight collar in 2 weeks of roaming. And frankly these days responsible owners chip their animals. Even if you only take your animal to the vet for emergencies, all the vets I know really push the chipping process.
It really depends on the age of the dog. A collar can cause calluses pretty quickly.

My mom's dog is not microchipped and she is a very responsible owner.

Quote
Even if all the other damage was caused by roaming free I think those two signs alone are sufficient to justify option number 3.

You cannot claim a dog as your own until you make a reasonable attempt to find the owners (looking for flyers is not "reasonable" IMO) and notify Animal Control. THEN you need to register the dog after you wait the legal amount of time (not sure how long that is in the OP's area, but I doubt it is two days). As much as the OP loves the dog, it is not her dog, it belongs to her neighbors. They should be notified immediately that it has been found.
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

http://inanitiesofanidlemind.blogspot.com/

Shoo

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2011, 12:49:12 PM »
I vote for #3.  If the owners care about Rocky and are actively looking for him, they'll find  him.  If not, all the better for Rocky.  You will get to take care of him.

hyzenthlay

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Re: Dliemma - Neighbor's dog
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2011, 12:51:35 PM »
It really depends on the age of the dog. A collar can cause calluses pretty quickly.

A dog shouldn't ever be left wearing a tight collar. If the dog's age is causing calluses or wounds the animal shouldn't be left tied out.

And your Mom may be a wonderful owner, but I am of the opinion that being a fully responsible owner includes chipping your animal.

No one is under any obligation to post flyers or to look for an owner. Turning the dog over to animal control is sufficient. If the owners are really concerned about their dog, they will have called animal control to be on the lookout.

In turning the dog over to animal control I think the OP is meeting all legal and ethical obligations.