Amen to that cowboymom, illegal as it is, that would be my suggestion too. They hardly seem like they'd a.) REALLY care that they were gone. or b.) kick up a stink about their dogs at large being taken.
I'd rather the dogs have a nice new home for life than care about the scummy owners crying tears for 5 minutes until they get over it.
Once you take them in & bring them to the vet for check, vacs, deworm & fixing, there will be a record that you have cared for them. If neighbors end up challenging you, this record will probably be more than they have.
This past summer I scooped up a cat who appeared to be living on the grounds of a community center. I vaccinated & fixed her and found her a home. I spent exactly 0 seconds looking for her owner or wondering whether I should pick her up. A few months later, driving by that community center, I saw a dead cat in the road who was an unmistakable sibling of the kitty I rehomed. (very loud and distinctive calico)
If I find an uncollared, skinny, flea-covered, unsupervised cat or dog in public space, I can't say that I have the slightest qualm about removing it from the low quality care it is currently getting to what I can do for it, if I can do anything.
I have done it before (2 of mine, picked up from city streets). And I will do it again. So far there are no warrants for my arrest, nor any signs announcing the sad missing kitties.
When you ask worthless animal owners if they want their semi-cared-for animals, they always say yes, and then they go back to not caring for them.
OK, I'll try to snag them the next time they come over. It's a tough situation - I can't foster them and find homes for them, like I did last time, because I already have five dogs, and simply don't have room for any more. And trying to keep them in the garage while I find a home for them just makes my dogs nuts - some of them are rescues themselves, and have some anxiety issues about strange dogs.
So I feel like my only option is to take them to the shelter, I can tell them they are strays and I don't know who owns them. But then I want my name down as a "last resort", if you will, so they don't get put down. But if I do that, then if the owner does come looking for them, he will know I was the one that brought them in, and then I'm back in the same mess all over again.
In the past, I've even offered to donate substantial amounts of money to rescue groups if they will take strays I find and get them adopted. I have the money, I just don't have the time, space, or experience. But all the rescue groups have their own standards, their own way of finding dogs to get adopted, etc.... The entire situation is so damn frustrating....sorry, just needed to vent.
Every time I see another stray dog, my heart just sinks, knowing the drama, stress, and frustration I'm about to experience. When I had this puppy a year ago, I went through h*ll trying to find someone to keep it while I went out of town, trying to track down leads to get him adopted, only to have his crappy owner decide they liked having him hang around, and I had my heart broken, because I couldn't see how to not return him to her once she said she owned him. Now a year later, we are EXACTLY where I feared we would be, despite my best efforts, and I'm right back in the emotional quagmire, trying to figure out the ethical thing to do, and walk that tightrope between the law, neighbor relations, and trying to do the right thing for these poor dogs before they get hurt.
Is there am after hours drop area at the shelter? My DD works at the Humane society here in Ontario (before all of you jump all over that, our Humane Society is not the same as yours in the USA. Our's has nothing to do with yours.) There are after hours kennels for dogs and cages for cats so people can drop them off at night with no questions asked.
I don't know about other places but a shelter I volunteered at in California had a drop off in a gated section around back but only the police were allowed to use it (locked). Every now and then I would go in to work and there would be a dog tied to the front gate. I guess the person didn't want to turn the dog in personally.
That shelter also would take down your name if you brought in a stray and wanted to adopt it later but would not release your name to the owner if they bothered to show up. It's possible OP that your shelter has the same policy.
Do you know of a disinterested party near you who might help out?
You would ask hem/her to take the dogs to the shelter and claim they saw them running in the road. Person could also leave the "last resort" info and let you know if it comes to that. A person who does not live in your area but who could have been driving by would be ideal!
What LoriB said!!! If they go to the shelter, they have a chance to be adopted into a caring, responsible home. As it stands now, they would probably be better off being put down. I strongly believe that there are alot worse things than a good death. Good luck, and thank you for trying to help these critters!!
Perhaps it's different in other areas of the country, but a trip to the shelter in my area is pretty much a death sentence for the animal.
Preferable to getting hit by a car or starving, but the shelter environment is terrifying for most animals, so I wouldn't really call it a peaceful death. Therefore, I really have to question why anyone would EVER recommend that option when most of us can do much better. I personally feel that if you surrender an animal to a shelter you should have to be present when they are euthed. It's just too easy to say "Dump them. "
I have no qualms about "rehoming" animals that aren't being properly cared for and I think it's the responsible thing to do. Thank you for caring OP. Many people just don't.
Think about this, because so many inconsiderate, uncaring dog owners let their dogs run loose, free to bother others and get killed, that doesn't mean that every loose dog is in need of rescuing.
If we indiscriminately catch and dispose of any stray dog, what if something happened and YOUR well cared for dog is lost, maybe for days, is then found by someone assuming that then skinny dog was dumped and needs rescuing and you never get a chance to find your dog again?
I say, if you know the dogs and owners and are not caring for them, yes, if in your place, do something.
If not, well, maybe we should be more careful about what we do with what may be someone else's wonderful, sadly lost pet, by no fault of their own, they can't find.
Years ago I found a great little lost basenji in the middle of the expressway, miles from any city.
I had been wanting one forever and he took right off with me.
I sure was going to keep him, but did call animal control in several nearby towns and vet clinics.
Somehow, no one noticed that the owners had been notifying them about their lost basenji and it was three weeks before it clicked on someone that a basenji had been found.
I took the dog back and the owner had two more and they were all ecstatic to get him back.
The owner had a dog gym in his yard and somehow the dog must have jumped from the top platform to the top of the fence and jumped out into the street.
He had since moved it to the middle of the yard.
It sure was sad to let him go, but that was his home after all.
OP, since you know those people are not going to take care and your own animals safety is also involved, you ought to let animal control handle this, even if you think you cold do better than animal control may.
I helped for years in our local animal control and I can say they went out of their way to help animals, especially if someone else was interested.
Killing dogs wholesale, as they have to do, gets very, very bone tiresome.
You may see if yours is the same and you can work thru them with these dogs.
I am not sure that taking matters into our own hands in those situations is the best, but you may disagree.
It also gets old watching people let their pets get hit by cars. I am so over being asked to practically watch it happen.
Dogs are a little different from cats. People seem incredibly willing to casually and occasionally feed a neighborhood cat, but not really own them or take responsibility, get vet care, etc. There seems to be far less of this semi-responsibility regarding dogs. The cats I commandeered were half grown, half-starved, covered in fleas, with no tags or collars. Particularly in the matter of a purebred dog, in good weight who looks generally well-cared for, of course you ask about owners, look at the shelters, post notices, etc. But with dogs that the OP knows are so insufficiently cared for? I know that the only value we are supposed to care about is ownership and property rights, but I am hard pressed to get worked up about the rights of these dog owners.
The OP has watched this entire sequence of events unfold. The combination of being unaltered and let to run loose is both a community nuisance and likely to end badly for the dogs. If I had an intact bitch confined in my yard, and one of these dogs bred it, I'd be pretty unhappy, and I'd have a right to be.
I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09
Every time I see another stray dog, my heart just sinks, knowing the drama, stress, and frustration I'm about to experience.
You sound like a very nice lady, and it sounds as if you live in an area somewhat like mine. Lots of strays or just dogs people allow to roam at will. I know how you feel, believe me. I hate that people treat animals this way.
But - please understand that you cannot save them all. Just because you see this happening, it is not your responsibility to fix it. It's tempting, I know. I also have five dogs, all of them rescues. But repeat after me: we cannot.save.them.all. Right? Every stray dog, while distressing, is not our problem.
These dogs, though, kind of are your problem, since they pose a threat to your dogs. Here's what I'd do: find a no-kill shelter at least 100 miles away. Snatch 'em up and take 'em there. Give the shelter a fake name. And don't ever tell anybody, not even your husband, what you did.
My version of the SSS - Shove 'em in the car; Shelter; Shut up.
ETA: I've never had to actually do this. I've had a couple of neighbors with loose dogs who bothered my horses. I talked to them about the problem and one neighbor has kept his dog confined ever since. The other dog I ran over and killed when he darted out of a bean field under my back tire. I'd have missed him if I could, I promise.
So I guess my first advice is talk to the neighbors and tell them they need to keep their dogs away from your place, because you don't want to get caught in the middle of a dog fight between them and your bunch. Then, if they don't do it, see plan B above.
Analytical thinking is the first casualty when opposing sides polarize, and that shows lack of common sense on both sides.
Do not contact the owners. They are irresponsible and will only cause you grief, either through retaliation if they know you contacted the authorities, and for sure, with continued lack of care for their animals, an action which breaks your heart. Take the dogs to the pound and tell the pound that if the owners don't claim them, you would like to adopt. The owners will not claim them, because most pounds charge an adoption fee, a fine for strays, and a spay/neuter fee. This will cost you a little money (adoption fee only because you were going to spay/neuter anyway), but it gives you legal ownership and documents the irresponsibility of the owners.
Last edited by PeteyPie; Nov. 11, 2012 at 06:54 PM.
Reason: poor wording
I would have no problem taking these dogs and rehoming. The ownership here is pretty loose -- they have no investment, they were strays or dumped and stayed at the home nearest to them. They are not well fed, certainly not maintained in any way and obviously don't care. Do what you can for the animals and don't look back -- these people won't miss them enough to look very hard or provide care if they "keep" them. I taken animals that were in bad situations and glad I did. If they show up skinny and uncollared they are strays, especially knowing what you already do about their sad situation. A shelter will probably euth them, so if you can get their vet work done and rehome, it would be better. Good Luck!
Why not start simple? Each time they are out, call AC. They will start off warning the owners with a tag "dog at large". It happens again, and they get a fine. It happens three times and the dogs are taken.
Just do your part by calling AC. Then you can stay out of it and not have to feel bad.