Thursday, July 24, 2014

Neighbors and Dogs

I did a post a year and a half or so ago about a neighbor who has more dog than he can handle. The problem has gotten worse; the old couple who owns the dog,  Zeus, can't collect him when he escapes, and he has become more menacing to passersby when he gets loose.

He fear-barks at people when they try to catch him and get him home, gets snappish, and sooner or later, he is going to bite somebody.

I don't know how often it happens, but it does so often enough that the closer neighbors are all aware of it. My wife and I notice mostly when we are walking our own critters and Zeus comes to harass them. 

Happened yesterday, and it is going to happen again. One of the closer neighbors and I managed to spook Zeus back into the house. 

The elderly woman is, according to the neighbors to whom I've talked, fairly far along in Alzheimer's. She will open the front door and Zeus will streak past her, and if somebody notices, they will try to shoo him home.

The old fellow is gimpy, and on top of trying to care for his ailing spouse, the dog is just too much. The man stands there calling him, yelling "Bad dog!" and berating his wife for opening the door, none of which help. 

What can we do about it? Apparently, nothing. The next door neighbors have called senior services and animal control, and legally, there's not much either can do. Several of us have offered to walk the dog to tire him out, but the old boy isn't having any of that. There aren't any grounds to have the dog removed because he hasn't bitten anybody. 


Eventually, Zeus will chomp on somebody's hand when they try to corral him, or get hit by a car when he darts into the street without looking. Animal control can step in if he bites, but it seems as if there should be something else we can do. I feel for the old couple. And the dog, who isn't living a very happy life, either ...


Jim said...

I can't speak to your laws, obviously -- but if the dog is chronically escaping, that's probably a violation of laws about dogs running at large. Get animal control involved each time, and push them to charge the owner. At court, the charges can be dismissed, with giving up the dog a condition. It's kind of a sucky way to do it -- but it can work. If they still want a dog, and no dogs isn't a condition of the dismissal -- perhaps someone from your local ASPCA or Humane Society can steer them towards a more appropriate choice. For that matter, the ASPCA or Humane Society may be able to help with an intervention.

Steve Perry said...

Might have to go this route. Hate to, and I'm not worried about getting bitten, but there are a lot of kids and other dogs being walked who are more at risk.