Yikes. Thanks to a reader for sending from Capitol Hill near Eastern Market:


Thank you for calling the Humane Law Enforcement. They came by today and seen that there is NOTHING wrong with my dog being OUTSIDE or CHAINED. If your scared of Pitbulls, move, cause I’m NOT changing ANYTHING for you… Get a HOBBY or something… AND TRUST ME I know why you DID it. DON’T like this note??? Call the cops then… I mean you calling everyone else.”

113 Comment

  • take a sharpie and correct the grammar/diction

  • Does anyone know the address where this sign was posted by this person who I’m sure takes excellent care of her dog? Or details? Does the person keep the dog chained outdoors all the time? Thanks!

      • I’m not going to put the address out there, but I did walk by this sign a couple days ago and had a laugh reading it. The front yard is tiny and has a VERY low fence, like I could step over it. If he’s leaving a pit bull chained and unattended for long periods of time in that front yard, aside from being cruel to the dog, that’s pretty reckless.

    • I live near by, won’t say the address other then that it is in the general Capitol HIll area. I walk by every day to and from metro for work, and I’ve never seen a dog… I guess it must be chained up in the back?

    • From what I know, the dog isn’t chained outdoors at all time. The house itself isn’t being taken care of so I can only imagine how the dog is taken care of.

  • Just because its legal doesn’t mean it is right – just saying

    • Was going to say exactly the same thing. Just because DC law is ludicrously permissive towards abusing animals does not mean there is nothing wrong with it. And yes, chaining your dog outside 24/7 IS abuse in my eyes. How much you want to bet the neighbors calling had nothing to do with them being afraid of pit bulls and everything to do with the fact that this person is a scum dog owner?

    • Yep. I’ve called Humane Law Enforcement on my neighbor because they leave their dog out 24/7, pay no attention to him at all, and let him bark all the time. Unfortunately, it didn’t rise to the level of being neglect or abuse because he had food, water, and could go under the deck to get out of the weather.
      It may not be illegal, but the dog is miserable and whines and whimpers every time he sees me. Why don’t people realize dogs are social animals and locking them in your backyard with no interaction is cruel?

      • “Why don’t people realize dogs are social animals and locking them in your backyard with no interaction is cruel?”
        Because some people (unfortunately) think that a dog is for “protection.” 🙁

      • Sounds like a good cause to organize a citizens group to get the council to address. Of course who will come up with the bribe money necessary to pass the legislation?

      • I have the same problem… and in talking with WHS their take was that having a dog in the backyard was more of a cultural thing for DC than a bunch of purposefully abusive dog owners (yes I think that not letting your dog run around and leaving him chained up outside all day is abuse). Not much more complicated than… “I always had a dog in the backyard growing up, I want a dog in the backyard now.” Hard to break that pattern, no matter how much barking or whining the dog does to get attention.

        • So just because something has always been one way we should just accept it? It would be a lot easier to break that pattern if it became illegal to chain dogs and offenders started getting hit where it really hurts- their wallets.

          • I agree with you. but WHS only follows the law… you have to talk to your council member if you want change.

      • One of the things I discovered during my time at home this past week is that my neighbor’s dog, who is inside all day while the neighbor is away at work, whines loudly pretty much all day. Sounds miserable to me. Maybe I should call animal welfare.

        Why don’t people realize dogs are social animals and locking them in your house all day with no interaction is cruel?

        • Anonymous@ 2:05

          As someone who has a dog at home that is well cared for this is appalling… There is nothing wrong with leaving a dog at home while you work at all. Much better than the dog being in a Humane Society shelter waiting for someone to adopt it. Seriously? Judging someone who can’t put their dog in daycare all day but keeps them indoors? Seriously?

          That’s a bad post… Shame on you.

          • Anon @2:43: Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who think like this. When I adopted my dog, I had several rescues tell me point blank that I wasn’t eligible because I was single and had a job and didn’t work from home, even though I worked a reliable 8-5:30 shift, was home every Friday, and was planning to get a dog walker.

          • Anon @3:45

            Pet rescues (especially for purebred dogs will tell you that), especially for older and smaller pets, because those dogs are in high demand and are more likely to be adopted into family settings… but in reality, adopting a dog in this situation is not bad for the pet when compared to the Humane society keeping them languishing in a cage all day and then later putting them down because they can’t be adopted. There is nothing wrong with leaving the dog at home unattended during work hours, especially if it’s house trained and you can let it roam the house. I don’t believe in crating for my dog (unless it’s during the period of house training). A dog can be left at home for 8 hour periods regularly and the average single owner spends plenty of time with the dog after work and on weekends. Acting like single dog owners are tyrants is straight out tree-huggery and self riteousness.

          • I agree with you, I’m just saying that it isn’t as uncommon an opinion as I would have thought. I was shocked at how many places turned down my application for adoption when I was looking to adopt just because I had a job outside the home (I mean, who does that leave around this area?). Once I adopted my dog from WHS, I left him home all day (with a dog walker mid day) for the 8 years I had him. He didn’t seem unhappy with the situation, and it was better than what could have been his alternative as a 10 year old stray at WHS.

        • If I was your neighbor, I’d appreciate a heads-up before you called the authorities. I would definitely want to know if my dog was barking, whining, or generally sounding unhappy while I was gone, so that I could take the necessary steps to remedy it. Otherwise, I’d be startled by WHS showing up with no warning, and disappointed that I hadn’t been more mindful of the situation.

          • Something tells me the person who put up that sign wouldn’t have taken kindly to a neighbor approaching him/her about this issue.

          • I have a neighbor who leaves their dog out 24/7 and lets it bark all the time. They aren’t the type of people to have a reasonable conversation with. I tried to talk to them before calling the police and WHS and it was basically like having a conversation with that sign.
            Being told to mind my own business (when I’m trying to discuss the fact that your dog is disturbing my life) and that the dog only barks when someone is in the alley (when you can hear it barking non-stop for the last three hours) makes for a fun conversation.

      • Is keeping a dog in your backyard all day with no interaction any more “cruel” than keeping a dog in your house or apartment all day with no interaction? Is a dog with a backyard to run around in (even if it’s on a chain) more miserable than a dog kept crated in a house or apartment all day?

        • I see what you’re trying to do there. But guess what, when the indoor dog’s owner gets home, they interact, they get a walk, they get to hang out with their person. That dog chained outside? How much you want to bet the person is only out there long enough to give it food and water and it NEVER gets any kind of exercise. So yes, I DO think a chained dog is more miserable.

          • That’s a whole lot of assumptions on your part. You have no idea if they let the dog inside for an hour or two. Or if they play with it a bit in the backyard.
            I agree with Marcus here – keeping your pet cooped up in your urban apartment all day is just as bad as keeping him chained to the porch. I really don’t see much of a difference.

          • Really? Because if you’ve lived in DC long enough you KNOW those people who leave their dogs chained in the yards NEVER bring them for walks or inside. Perhaps this person does, perhaps not. If it was enough for multiple neighbors to call humane enforcement on her/him, then I’d guess not.
            So no, an inside dog in an apartment during the day is not as bad.

          • Yep. It’s not about where the dog spends its time when the owner is at work. It’s about how the dog is treated when the owner is at home. My neighbor’s rottweiler gets zero attention from the owner. It hasn’t been out of the backyard in the four years I’ve lived in my place.
            I have a large dog as well and he stays home most days alone for 8-10 hours. But when I get home, we go for a long walk, possibly with a stop by the dog park. I’m pretty sure he’s not miserable. I knew when I got the dog 8 years ago that it meant walking him every day, socializing him with people and other dogs, and not sticking him in the back yard and ignoring him. If you can’t make that commitment, don’t get a dog.

          • Not to mention that the outside dog is exposed to the elements/dog thieves who may be looking for bait for their fighting operation.

          • “I got the dog 8 years ago that it meant walking him every day, socializing him with people and other dogs, and not sticking him in the back yard and ignoring him. If you can’t make that commitment, don’t get a dog.”

            I think it’s great that this is what it means to you to be a dog owner. I don’t think every dog owner has to have made the same “commitment.” And I don’t think dog owners who haven’t made the same commitment are necessarily bad dog owners.

          • epric002

            marcus aurelius- that is absolutely what it means to be a dog owner. if someone’s idea of being a dog owner is to stick it in a pen/yard/on a chain and to never walk it or interact with it and barely provide food/water/shelter, then that person is absolutely, unequivocally a bad dog owner.

  • I love this! Capitol Hill needs more crazy.

  • Too funny. What was it Avenue Q said about stereotypes being based in truth?

  • Love it…just had this conversation at work about people who think dogs are people instead of pets.

    • How is reporting animal abuse at all remotely related to someone thinking “a dog is a person”? Someone chaining their dog outside is not treating that animal as a pet. If you think that is the way you should treat a pet, I welcome you to never get one.

      • I’m amazed at your psychic powers. How else can I explain that you knew exactly the conversation I had at work? While I don’t think having a dog on a chain (or leash) is “animal abuse”, I also don’t know enough about this particular case to opine.

        FYI my conversation was about people who share their bed and table with their dogs. People who think its “animal abuse” to give a dog leftovers.

    • treating a dog humanely isn’t equating them to people.

  • Alternatively, we could also just have the Humane Society round up ALL the outside dogs and put them in a shelter where their chance of survival is 0. Just because a dog doesn’t sleep in bed with its owners, gets generic food, and is an outside dog doesn’t necessarily mean its abused. Having their needs met is signiifcantly better than the sad, short, and lonely life in a shelter.

    • False binary alert…

    • I would argue that a chained dog who is never allowed to leave it’s small area and not allowed to interact with humans or other animals is not having its needs met at all. Dogs are social animals and that is a miserable life for them.

    • I know nothing about this particular situation, but, if the dog is not being abused/neglected, it seems like the system worked perfectly. Concerned neighbors thought something might be amiss, so they called the appropriate organization so the organization could properly investigate. That is the way the system is supposed to function. No one attempted to forcibly take her dog away and throw him in a shelter, they just asked someone who could better assess the situation to investigate.

      • I just wanted to clarify that I should have capitalized IF. It does sound to me like the dog is probably neglected, but if it isn’t, the system function the way its meant to.

  • Dog were meant to live outside not inside. God gave them fur coats the shed in summer and grow in winter so they could with stand the elements. I am so sick of people treating pets like humans.

    • errr….not all dogs shed.

    • We live in a city, not the country. Dogs are not meant to be chained so they can barely move or be kept on a 10x 10 concrete slab their whole lives. I seriously hope you don’t have any pets. Also a PET is a companion animal, NOT an animal that is meant to be dumped in your backyard and forgotten about. What don’t you get about that? Someone who leaves their dog outside 24/7 is not treating it as a pet.

    • God did not give them chains and never intended them to be confined to a small area. It’s just cruel.

    • I’m not saying that everyone should dress their dog up like paris hylton, complete with jeweled collar and rainboots…. if you do, then more power to you.

      However, dogs are domestic animals and I do find it cruel to leave them outside and isolated for excessive amounts of time. They are blindly loving animals and it’s sad to see them treated badly.

    • epric002

      there is a huge, massive difference between having a primarily outside dog, who has a large, safe (fenced) yard to enjoy, *real* shelter from the elements, plenty of food and water, and interaction with people/other animals, and the common DC situation of a short-haired dog chained/penned 24/7 with minimal food/water, less than adequate shelter, and little to no interaction with people/other animals. if you don’t understand that i hope that an animal never, ever finds itself in your care. and how do you explain the numbers of dogs that are injured/die from the heat and cold each year? or would expecting them to be uninjured be “treating pets like humans”?

    • Why bring God into this? Dogs are domesticated animals; they evolved alongside humans to live among them. Proof is in their ability to digest things their wild counterparts can not, like starch rich diets. There are a lot of short hair breeds that would not survive a cold winter outside. Or are you just trolling?

  • im gonna call 1-800-GRAMMAR-POLICE

  • To all my nosey a*s English majors,
    Help me improve this sign’s grammar.

    To all of my NOSEY A*S NEIGHBORS,

    Thank you for calling the Humane Law Enforcement. They came by today and saw that there was NOTHING wrong with my dog being OUTSIDE or CHAINED. If you’re scared of Pitbulls, move, because I’m NOT changing ANYTHING for you. Get a HOBBY or something. AND TRUST ME, I know why you DID it. DON’T like this note??? Call the cops then, I mean, you’re calling everyone else.

  • Well its not about grammar people. Its about the law. And it looks like he won on the issue important to him.

  • For those of you who say it is abuse to leave a dog outdoors chained up all day…..I don’t disagree. But I wonder if any of you would be OK with leaving your animal in doors all day…alone and anxious. This is what several of my neighbors do in my so-called luxury downtown apartment (where probably everybody has a college degree). My next door neighbor’s dog literally barks for hours non-stop. Then it rests for awhile, and starts all over again. I’ve had to report this young lady several times. Only good news here is that I can see through the window that at least the dog is not locked in a cage. Another neighbor does the same thing with her dog, which is twice as big. But she actually locks the dog in a chage when she is gone for hours at a time. I ask you people…is this NOT abuse also?

    • I’d say that’s not abuse when compared to chaining a dog up outside day and night regardless of the weather.

    • Sounds like crate-training gone wrong. We leave our dog in a crate during the day and he actually prefers it to being left in a larger space. He even sleeps in the crate with the door open at night.

      • And that right there sounds like abuse to me. You keep your dog in a crate all day – WTF?!?
        Justify it however you want, but dogs were not meant to live like that.

        • Um, no, crating a dog is not abusive. If a crate is used properly (not as punishment, etc.), a dog won’t mind being in its crate and will actually enjoy it (hence the fact that this dog sleeps in its unlocked crate at night).

        • Whoa judgey. It’s usually 4-5 hours at most, usually only about 3 and we’ve properly trained our dog so that the crate is a safe space for him. It actually helps with his seperation anxiety. Thanks for the words, though, Cesar. And what, pray tell, do you do with your dog?

    • I would say it depends. I have known people whose dogs have such severe separation anxiety that they are a danger to themselves when left out unsupervised. In those cases, the owners actively worked with their vet and a trainer to help their dogs overcome it. In the interim, crating was the best option. I do not think they are abusive owners in the least, and on the contrary went above and beyond what most people would be willing to do.
      However, if someone is crating their dog the majority of the day just because it’s easier for them and they have no real training plan in place to acclimate the dog to being uncrated safely, then yes, I’d characterize them as a negligent pet owner who should probably not have a dog.

    • Most dogs can be left alone for about 8 hours without getting anxious. If a dog is getting anxious while left alone for those amounts of time, its likely not getting proper exercise and/or stimulation when the owner is around or has another issue that needs to worked on with a trainer. The dog that is barking for hours nonstop is the exception, not the norm, as most dogs nap the majority of the time that their owners aren’t there. (Dogs, even high energy ones, should sleep 12-14 hours a day if they are getting proper exercise and stimulation.)

    • A lot of these issues have to do with exercise and socialization. A tired, well adjusted dog generally doesn’t bark all day and have extreme anxiety. I have a German Shepherd mix that hasn’t barked in years. When I walk in the door after being gone all day he usually doesn’t get up until I’ve changed clothes and am ready to take him for a walk. It’s because he gets a lot of regular exercise and knows that I will walk him every single day, whether I feel like it or not.

  • My dog got bit on the nose from another dog, unchained and left unattended in the front yard of a Capitol Hill house. The dog was hiding behind a bush and lunged through the pickets to attack my leashed dog, drawing blood. We called the police, since no one was home (we knocked on the front door several times). The cops did nothing since 1) it’s legal to keep a dog in the front yard and 2) the bite happened on public property, the sidewalk. According to them, if the bite had occurred on private property, they would have been able to take in the dog.

  • OK, maybe it’s just the lawyer in me, but I’m not OK with people who know what the law is calling law enforcement on their neighbors just because they feel that objectively it is inappropriate.

    I don’t call the cops on my neighbor for eating meat even if I am a vegetarian, because it is not illegal. Leave the cops out of it. I’d side with the bad dog owner against you if you called the cops again. And is that what you want? Sympathy for a bad dog owner?

    • WOW. Way to continue to perpetuate the jerky reputation lawyers have.

    • Animal abuse is criminal behavior. Not eating meat is not criminal behavior.

      The degree of what constitutes animal “abuse” varies, and whoever called thought it rose to that level, even if it didn’t.

      • But this wasn’t a case of animal abuse, as WHS confirmed. I doubt the OP is condoning animal abuse.

    • epric002

      having called WHS numerous times, this is only the very defensive owner’s interpretation of what happened. i find it hard to believe that WHS showed up to a chained dog situation and told the owner that everything was peachy-keen and to please continue keeping your dog chained up outside.

    • How do you know the people who called know the law? We aren’t all privileged enough to be lawyers. They saw something they thought seemed wrong and they called the police. How does that translate to you having sympathy for a bad dog owner?

    • I think calling the proper authorities when you think something might be up is exactly the right thing to do. People didn’t call and demand that her dog be snatched from her yard. They thought it might be an abusive situation, but knew they didn’t have the ability to properly assess what was going on, so they let the Humane Society knew so they could send people to investigate.

    • I’m completely OK with people calling the appropriate authorities if they think something might be amiss. No one snatched her dog from her yard or demanded she be arrested. They thought something might be up and knew they weren’t qualified to fully assess the situation, so they asked the Humane Society to investigate. Seems like the best thing to do in this situation to me.

      • Ugh. I got the, “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.” message after my first post, so I thought it didn’t go through. My apologies for the double post!

    • With that kind of writing ability, let’s be kind and assume the lawyer in you is just pretend.

    • you’re a lawyer and you can’t parse the distinction between possible animal abuse and diet choices? …eyeroll

  • DC CapHill

    If this person would have displayed this level of improper grammar, but left the breed of dog off of the sign, who wouldn’t have automatically thought “pitbull”. Sad, as I know plenty of responsible and loving Pitbull owners/rescuers, but this clearly is not one of them.

    I also love the notion of minding one’s own business, when a barking dog day and night IS a neighbor’s business, if it’s constant and annoying to the point one can think or see straight for lack of rest.

    • Plenty more issues here than just the dog. They are definitely not the responsible pitbull owners that many are(and should be) though. I don’t believe the barking was the problem either.

  • Wait, so is this the response to last week’s “From the Forum” post about a dog chained up all day? Having trouble believing this is a coincidence.


  • None of you know what the situation is here. Nothing on this sign says “all day” and none of you know how this person treats their dog, or whether there’s a past history here of someone simply not liking dogs. Perhaps there are other problems between these neighbors, perhaps the person who called doesn’t like the dog barking, or something. Judging that this sign-writer is some animal abuser, based on the fact that they wrote OUTSIDE or CHAINED is bizarre. A whole bunch of you people need Xanax. Sorry, PoP: I’m a voice of reason and you know it.

    • It is illegal for a dog to bark during quiet hours (10pm to 8am I think) or to disturb neighbors’ quiet enjoyment of their homes.

    • There are many more issues here than just the dog, which probably isn’t being taken care of properly. I wouldn’t say there is abuse though, just people who don’t take care of pets.

  • Just because you can by law – doesn’t mean you should.

    Dogs are better off inside as part of the family.

    Heatless for sure.

  • Chaining a dog is harmful to the dog and a potential danger to people and other animals. Chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite. Tethering or chaining dogs increases their stress, protectiveness and vulnerability, thereby increasing the potential for aggression. http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/stop-animal-abuse/fact-sheets/dog-bites.html
    Chaining a dog is the opposite of “treating it like a pet.” It’s treating it like a lawn decoration (and increasing its potential to do damage, which IS everyone’s business).

  • WHERE MY DOGS AT!?!?!?!?!?!

  • wow. over 100 comments. I find it appalling too but if you want to change the law then you have to send these 100 comments to your councilmember. Even Mary Cheh managed to pass legislation on the “humane” removal of rodents from yards. Surely we can make it illegal to chain a dog in the yard 24 hours/day. its an election cycle now so those running for mayor or council are especially to legislating just about anything if its popular enough.

  • Put your dog inside if you feel like protecting it so much.

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