From the Forum – How to handle a dog in the neighborhood?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

How to handle a dog in the neighborhood?

“There is a family on our street who either leave their dog tied on their front porch for hours on end, with him barking literally all day and night, or worse, leave him unleashed running around the neighborhood, sitting in the street, or defecating on neighbors’ lawns. I’ve told the family before that the dog went the bathroom on my lawn, and they didn’t seem concerned, so I don’t think talking to them is going to help. They don’t really bother trying to get him out of the street, and leave him out barking in the middle of the night. They’re not really committing animal cruelty, and I think reporting them would be a little extreme. But obviously the little dog is miserable, and I’m sick of cleaning up after him. Any suggestions how to handle? Thanks!”

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25 Comment

  • Call Newman, Kramer and Elaine!

  • jim_ed

    Out of curiosity, is it an Akita?

    Regardless, call the Humane Society. whatever you’re not seeing is probably worse than what you’re seeing. And a welfare check could be a nice wake up call to your neighbors.

  • That sounds like neglect. Call the Humane Society. He deserves a loving home.

  • epric002

    it may not be cruelty, but it is definitely neglect, and also illegal. call 311 AND the WHS at 202-234-8626. PLEASE report this. each and every time one of those things happen.

  • Call 911 and ask them to send a police officer to the house. Do it every time they leave the dog out barking. If they don’t stop, ask the police to issue a nuisance animal citation.
    DC Municipal Regulation 900.1 states that, “No person shall own or keep a dog that, by barking or in any other manner, disturbs the quiet of any neighborhood or any person.” Additionally, Regulation 900.9 allows police to fine anyone violating the provision up to $300.
    If the cop who responds won’t issue a citation, email your district commander and ask him to address it. I had to go through this with my idiot neighbor who leaves their rottweiler out 24/7.

    • And sadly, I tried the Humane Society first with my neighbor’s rottweiler and found out the threshold for neglect is pretty high. They came out and visited the home. Because the dog appeared healthy and had food, water, and enough shelter to get out of the elements (under the back deck), it wasn’t bad enough for them to do anything. Why people get a dog and stick it alone in the back yard for years on end is just baffling to me. I’ve often wanted to break through the fence and dognap him and take him to a rottweiler rescue organization.

      • epric002

        true, the threshold for neglect in DC is way too high (please tell your reps that you want to change this!), but the incessant barking is definitely illegal. AND since animal control will come investigate each time you call them, neglectful owners can sometimes be persuaded to either improve conditions or surrender the animal. please always call and report. finally, if you *really* want to change this dog’s living situation, another popviller introduced me to whose mission is to get dogs off chains/out of pens and into loving families homes.

      • Any chance you live on Delafield Place? Because our neighbor leaves their 3 Rottweilers outdoors all day and night. Their whole lives are a 10′ by 20′ cement pad. The dogs bark at any time and really enjoy ‘group-howling’. I am probably woken up by their barking 3 nights out of the week. I have gotten into the habit of having a full glass of water by my bedside each night, so if they wake me up I dump it on them and that shuts them up.

        • epric002

          aw come on, it’s not the dogs’ fault! call and report it!

        • You’re a nasty piece of work. These dogs are being mistreated and neglected, and your response is to further mistreat them. You ever tried talking to the owners, or are you too scared to approach something that can respond to your actions? Karma is going to bite you in the ass, Matt.

      • People used to keep their dogs outside, in a doghouse, all the time. And it’s still pretty normal outside the city.

  • My girlfriend got a visit from animal cruelty because her cat was crying when she was at work. The neighbor thought the cat was being abused or something but the animal cruelty people were able to ascertain that nothing was wrong. Better to be safe than sorry.

  • I once had neighbors that allowed their teeny tiny chihuahua to run around collar-less and unsupervised. He didn’t cause any disturbance, but I was always worried something bad would happen to him. Sure enough, one day he ended up digging under the fence of one of our other neighbors who kept a Rottweiler 24/7 in his yard for protection (also something that really really bothered me as I have a Rottweiler and they are sweet bears when treated like a family member). Unfortunately the Rottweiler felt he needed to protect his territory and ended up killing the little dog.
    Shortly thereafter a second little dog in the neighborhood who was allowed to roam freely was hit by a car and killed.
    I always wished I had called animal control. Maybe it wouldn’t have helped, but maybe those poor dogs would still be alive. So, my advice is to call every time you see it. Be the squeaky wheel. It is definitely neglect and it is illegal. You just may end up saving that dog’s life.

  • I echo everyone here: call 311, 911, Humane Society, animal control… whatever it takes to get the dog better care than it’s receiving now, or at least off the street. My mom once ran over a dog. It was unchained/unfenced in its owners’ yard, always was, and one day it ran into the street to chase her car (she was driving 10mph to try and avoid this) and right under her tire. She felt awful, and brought flowers to the owners, but their response was just “we always knew this would happen some day.”
    Hopefully you can stop that from happening to this poor guy.

  • Neglected or not, ,DC has a leash law and letting the dog run around the neighborhood off leash is definitely breaking it.

  • Literally give the dog a bone, toy or some treats as you wait for a response form 911/Humane Society.

    • epric002

      some might recommend against that, as it doesn’t help demonstrate that the dog is hungry/bored/neglected. though i understand how hard it can be not to do anything to help.

  • justinbc

    Ignore all of this terrible advice and call Wade Blasingame immediately!

  • Do the dogs have collars? A dog running loose with no collar (which is very easy to lose) is a stray and needs to be taken in and delivered to the animal shelter.

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