Friday, June 13, 2014

Getting to the Truth

As the executive director and also a humane officer, I often encounter situations where I know a pet owner is not telling the truth.  People will call and complain about a neighbor's treatment of pets, I go and talk to them, and the pet owner denies.  Then what?  It becomes a "he says-she says" but there is no proof to back up the verbal exchange. 

Yesterday I visited a property because the dog owner was alleged to have left the dog all weekend without care.  She denied this but I did advise her on her legal duties as a pet owner.

Later, I received two calls from neighbors.  The owner left the property at 5 PM and the dog was howling in distress.  I went to the property, left notices on all the doors to call and leave a message when she arrived home so that I would know the dog was being cared for.  While leaving the notices I did hear the dog howling and it did sound piteous.  I could understand why the neighbors were concerned.  I certainly would be distressed to hear the dog whining and howling if I lived nearby.

The next day I drove by the property at 7:30 AM and the notice was removed.  I checked messages back at the shelter and the owner called at 10:59 PM.  So the dog was confined for six hours.  This is a reasonable amount of time.  So how will this be resolved?   

As for the cruelty law, I have no evidence that the dog is being neglected or mistreated.  I saw the dog on my first visit and it appeared happy and healthy.  I feel bad for the neighbors who are concerned about the dog but now it is more abut disturbing the peace rather than cruelty.  Humane Officers have no enforcement powers regarding disturbing the peace.

It would be great if they could work something out.

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