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muppetish's avatar

Any suggestions for fighting ridiculous accusations about animal care?

Asked by muppetish (14213points) April 25th, 2012

Recently, one of the neighbors has been reporting several false claims against my best friend for how she cares for her dog. The first report stated that the dog was left unattended on the front lawn, which wasn’t true as someone was nearby. Another claim stated that the dog was not vaccinated, which it is. Another claim stated that the dog was not microchipped, which it is not and the family will take care of if necessary to meet local laws. Another claim stated that the dog was in poor containment conditions. Another claim stated the dog does not have adequate source of food and water. These are all inaccurate and were not filed together, but over the course of a few days.

At the moment the dog is being housed by animal control because the mother is fed up with dealing with the neighbors. My friend is frantically trying to find a friend or family member to adopt the dog until they can sort things out because she does not want to lose her pet, but does anyone have suggestions for a scenario like this?

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17 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Find out who it was, and confront them.
Maybe you can also report them for defamation or libel or something.

Coloma's avatar

Well, I wouldn’t think animal control would impound the dog if they didn’t find evidence of some of these claims. They investigate claims but they do not confiscate animals without evidence of neglect. Do you mean that they surrendered the dog of their own accord or was it actually taken by AC?

ragingloli's avatar

@Coloma
“At the moment the dog is being housed by animal control because the mother is fed up with dealing with the neighbors.”
This strongly implies that they gave the dog to them on their own volition.

chyna's avatar

Is there a reason someone is doing this? Is the dog a pit bull or other breed that the people think is dangerous? Or is there a reason the people are being bullied?
I would try to talk to a law officer, magistrate, or other court official to see what can be done to stop this harrassment from these people legally.

rooeytoo's avatar

One of 2 things is probably true, first, the dog is not being properly taken care of. (I can’t imagine surrendering my dog just because AC comes to the door.) If AC sees the dog is properly cared for, they will realize the complaints are frivilous and stop wasting their time coming to check.

second, the calls are not based in fact and AC will ignore them.

I can’t imagine they keep coming back if there is nothing wrong. Most don’t have enough time to keep up with real problems much less untrue reports. And advise them to chip their dog whether it is required or not. If you love your dog it is an excellent way to make sure it comes back to you if it does get loose or stolen.

quiddidyquestions's avatar

Are you sure that the dog really is being cared for properly? I have a hard time imagining someone who is really invested in caring for their dog giving it up to animal control (or even a friend) because people are filing false complaints. I’m skeptical about your claim that the dog really is being well taken care of.

PetLoverHi's avatar

Claim One:: was your friend’s dog in a fenced yard or on a run? Supervision of a dog should only be enforced if it can get out of the owners property. A dog in a fenced yard or on a dog run (leash) with adequate food, water, shelter and attention should be fine with animal control.
Claim two: State laws should tell the owner if the dog needs to be vaccinated and how often. You stated that the dog was vaccinated so the owner should have copies of the record, if not the veterinarian will.
Claim Three: same goes with the local laws, if it needs to be chipped then have the owner get a chip.
Claim Four: Can the dog’s dishes be knocked over and can the neighbor see this or did the AC officer see this? Get some good old wide dog bowls that can’t be tipped over .

Take pictures of the dog and then take the dog to the vet to get a clean bill of health, in addition to getting all of its shots and records from the veterinarian. Take it to the AC office where the dog is being housed and show them the evidence that the owner is complying with the laws of their state. If AC thinks it has a case they should take it to court and if the owner is a competent pet owner then they should win the case. Harassment charges should apply to the neighbor after the decision by the AC office or the courts.

I wonder how the neighbor “knows” these things about this animal. If they are just guessing then showing all the necessary documents to the AC should take care of the problem, however do not let your friend or their mother become upset as there are too too many abuse cases that do not get reported and many animals suffer through unimaginable pain at the hands of their owners or other humans.
http://www.kens5.com/news/Justice-for-Justice-Reward-swells-in-cruelty-case-148078125.html

http://www.the33tv.com/about/station/newsteam/kdaf-funeral-held-for-justice-the-puppy-set-on-fire-20120421,0,4391306.story

and many others like the links above attest this fact.

jca's avatar

All of those claims can be proven or found to be false. I don’t understand giving up a beloved pet because she is sick of dealing with the neighbors. I would think if all was well with the pet, she would concentrate on dealing with the neighbors false accusations. Perhaps there is some validity to the accusations, and the neighbor is not really able to deal with the pet and the legal system at the same time.

muppetish's avatar

@Coloma Animal Control didn’t confiscate the dog. The mother gave the dog up because she didn’t want to deal with the constant bombardments by the neighbors. My friend is in the process of trying to re-adopt the dog as she was not given any say in this.

@chyna I have no idea. My friend suspects a neighbor just has it out for them. The dog is a German Shephard / Beagle mix. He is hyperactive, but certainly not dangerous to anyone. He is around children for part of the week and has never harmed them.

@rooeytoo My friend did not give up her dog: her mother did. My friend is the main caretaker of this dog and is completely devastated right now. I am gathering ideas in the event that she is able to temporarily rehome the dog. The woman at Animal Control mentioned how healthy the dog is and was a little perplexed when he was brought in. Thank you for your suggestions. It makes me feel better knowing that they probably would not press against this family despite the complaints.

@quiddidyquestions I am positive that the dog is well cared for and my friend can provide photographs of the dogs living space if necessary.

@PetLoverHi Thank you so much for your run down of the situation! I am perplexed why a neighbor believes that they know any of this information. (How does one accuse another dog owner of not vaccinating their pet? This is ludicrous.) The dog even knows how to turn the water on in the backyard if, for whatever reason, his dish isn’t full.

@jca I don’t understand it either. I’m extremely angered by the situation because if she had just given us a little time, I believe that we could have handled the situation.

Pandora's avatar

It could just come down to actual care. My daughter had a friend who loved animals. She had a setter. The dog was the kids responsibility. They were all over the age of 16 at the time. Well the dog would be let out during the day in a gated back yard and sleep indoors at night. My daughter complained about the dogs care. She seemed happy enough but on really hot days she was out in the yard with water that had gotten heated from the sun. She had no real shade or company during the day hours since most of the time the kids where running about doing their business. She had knots and although her friend would always talk about vet bills, they never seem to groom her. She had food and water but being left outside in the enviroment didn’t exactly make it appetizing. She only lasted 2 years. She started to get the runs a lot and act sick. When they took her in to the vet, they found she had a severe case of heart worm. They never bothered to give her, her pills. Her friend also found out that her mom wasn’t being honest about always taking the dog in to the vet. She only made sure the dog got her rabies shot because that was all she could afford. We aren’t sure we believe that either.
If your friends mom was being honest about the care, than she would’ve had proof. I don’t think the dog pound would’ve taken the dog or come back more than once if the grievance was false. They would’ve just chucked it up to a neighbor who has something against them.

muppetish's avatar

@Pandora The thing is that my friend does take great care of her dog. It may be a cultural thing, but her mom does not like dealing with people – particularly with rumours and scandals – and she does not have as close a bond with the dog as the rest of the family. If the dog returns to my friend, then I am certain she will continue the excellent care she has always provided. I am only concerned about what to do about the false claims against them, which has now been well addressed.

OpryLeigh's avatar

If all of those things are untrue then there will be no evidence to support the accusations. If the animal has been vaccinated then the vet will have proof of that for example and anyone who is knowledgable about animals wil be able to tell just from the dog’s general appearance just how much they need to investigate into the accusations. Your friend may have to provide pictures of the dogs living space or, in the case of re-adoption, someone from the shelter may come and check the place over but it sounds to me, if the dog is genuinly being well cared for, then this situation will probably right itself in time.

PetLoverHi's avatar

This neighbor or a so called friend could have other reasons for doing this to your friend, false friends seem to be the norm in the 21st century, have your friend think back to something she may have bought ( car, clothes, jewelry, a new hair color etc.) or received praise for doing, believe me something as simple as being able to afford to eat out at McDonalds once a week can set another person off. I wish your friend all the best of luck and tell her not to give up on her dog. I really think it’s neat that the dog can turn on the water by its self. One last thing your friend might want to get statements from people who know the dog and knows how well she takes care of it before going to go “adopt” it back. Give the mom a hug cultural difference can be a lot to handle.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The friend needs to work this out with Animal Control Having a friend or family member adopt the dog is a temporary fix if the goal is to get the dog back in her possession.

I understand that the mother doesn’t not want to deal with any more confrontation by the neighbor and AC, but how is this a possible “cultural thing”?

PetLoverHi's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer
I agree but i will try to help out with the culture thing a bit.
confontational beliefs, different cultures have different beliefs
such as:
“Traditionally speaking, eye contact is more prevalent in western cultures. For example, in America, it is a sign of respect when one makes direct eye contact when talking to an superior person such a boss or the president, while in Japan or China, it would be a sign of disrespect if one were to look directly at a superior in the eye such as the emperor or even, in some common cases, an elderly person.”
http://www.articlesbase.com/self-improvement-articles/the-meaning-of-eye-contact-1111664.html
Identifying cultural differences
http://www.sameroomspirit.org/index.php/Identifying_cultural_differences

jca's avatar

@PetLoverHi: @muppetish wrote “It may be a cultural thing but the mother doesn’t like dealing with people” or something like that. I think @muppetish could explain better what he meant.

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