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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I live in an apartment complex in California and this is a dog loving community. Most apartments have pets and our neighborhood/community park is pretty dog friendly too. About 2 weeks ago I started hearing a dog who would bark at all hours of day and even late at night. This is a first in our community where I have been living for the past 3 years and people take such good care of their pets there is hardly ever a barking dog so it caught my attention specifically. I located the dog and observed that he is always all alone on his 2nd floor patio and is never let inside. I am not sure about the night situation, although the dog is black and their patio is always pitch dark at night so i really can’t see the dog. Now, all of a sudden this dog has gone completely quiet although he is still outside on the patio throughout the day without any company/supervision. All he is been doing for the past day is peek his little head for a few moments and then recede back. Honestly, this is concerning me more than the barking because how does a dog go so quiet in a day? I don’t know if he is sick or hungry or thirsty or what possible explanation is there? Earlier my only concern was him being all alone all with the doors closed all day long but now this is worrying me even more. What should I do? I have no concrete evidence of neglect and there is no longer even a noise complaint, the dog is just there on a 2nd floor balcony, all day all alone!
 

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They may have gotten complaints about the barking and put a bark collar on him.

Unfortunately, your options are very limited. If you can show that he has no shelter or fresh water on the balcony, you can contact the animal control and report it. Neglect is very hard for them to prove as long as those two things (shade and fresh water) are provided and there is no obvious health issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your response. I have been doing some reading and this is what I also understood, that neglect cannot be proven until there are extreme weather conditions when the dog is left outside or a major health risk. As a dog lover and owner this unfortunate situation just breaks my heart! Apparently emotional distress does not apply to animals!!
 

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Thanks for your response. I have been doing some reading and this is what I also understood, that neglect cannot be proven until there are extreme weather conditions when the dog is left outside or a major health risk. As a dog lover and owner this unfortunate situation just breaks my heart! Apparently emotional distress does not apply to animals!!
yes.. amazes me every day when someone says some variation of "it's just a dog, so what,"... if these people are just some of those types, who just don't care, then I don't see how there's much you can do. But you said your community is dog-friendly and many people have pets - also it seemed from your answer that the apartment with this dog is close to yours. This may not apply to your situation, but it's just a suggestion: maybe try talking to them, if you don't know them. If they're reasonably friendly to you, you have a good chance of being able to meet the dog (and see if it is clearly sick or in distress)...
best of luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for the suggestion, I had this idea too, but not sure if it will work. The dog is close to my apartment but that I have no idea who lives in that apartment. Plus, I have only noticed this dog since the past 2-3 weeks and he/she looks like a 5-6 month old puppy, I am not sure of the breed though, it is some kind of shepherd mix if I was to guess! Their blinds are always shut and there isn’t ever anybody on the patio either, so I am not sure if they are going to be friendly or accepting of a stranger. Not with the way they treat their own pup! I just checked again and it is pitch dark on their balcony and the dog has literally not made a noise since yesterday. He is sitting outside though like always. At least he was active and barking until day before yesterday. If they have put some sort of bark collar on it, I am worried that further intervention from a stranger may prove detrimental for the dog . . .
 

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Thanks so much for the suggestion, I had this idea too, but not sure if it will work. The dog is close to my apartment but that I have no idea who lives in that apartment. Plus, I have only noticed this dog since the past 2-3 weeks and he/she looks like a 5-6 month old puppy, I am not sure of the breed though, it is some kind of shepherd mix if I was to guess! Their blinds are always shut and there isn’t ever anybody on the patio either, so I am not sure if they are going to be friendly or accepting of a stranger. Not with the way they treat their own pup! I just checked again and it is pitch dark on their balcony and the dog has literally not made a noise since yesterday. He is sitting outside though like always. At least he was active and barking until day before yesterday. If they have put some sort of bark collar on it, I am worried that further intervention from a stranger may prove detrimental for the dog . . .
Well it could prompt the owners to do something worse to the dog, true. But I don't see what else you could do.. sounds like it would be hard, based on what you said, to prove neglect and for action to be taken. So really it's a decision you have to make, I think the only thing you could really do to change the situation for the dog is to reach out to the owners. This could go in many ways but it seems more likely that something will improve or that nothing will happen. If you are able to do this in a non-confrontational way (just reaching out casually and not asking too much about the treatment of the dog) then it's unlikely that the owners will do something to the dog in response.
I've not experienced any situation like this while I lived in the US, but since moving to India I've been in a similar situation. A person in my neighborhood keeps a large, active dog tied all the time, again not technically neglect but the poor dog strains against the leash all day. It is a breed that needs a lot of exercise and doesn't get much at all - and also they never interacted with it. Like you, I spent about a week agonizing over what to do and finally talked to the person, they weren't angry but rather seemed confused that anyone would care. They had never thought of dogs as creatures with emotions and needs beyond the physical ones. I didn't want to make them angry so I didn't push it a lot, but I suggested that I walk and play with the dog every day for a little while - and they said sure. So the dog is a little better off now...
Again, I don't know the exact details of your situation. But you seem like a kind person who really cares about dogs so go with what you feel is best.
hope everything works out..
 

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Unless you can actually VERIFY abuse under the laws in your community, I recommend minding your own business.

Yes. The owners likely got a noise complaint and put an electronic bark collar on the dog. I use these collars (not all the time but there ARE times when I have had to) and they are very effective.

If the dog has shelter, water and adequate food then the dog's physical needs are being met and it is THEIR dog. There are many dogs with worse living situations.

Is it ideal? No. Is this how I would keep a dog? No. Is this my business (assuming dog has food water and shelter) absolutely NO.

If you complain to management of the complex the net result of such complaints is that management may elect to ban pets.

Be careful talking to the owners. You have no idea who these people are and what they are doing. I hate to say it, but such encounters may be very unsafe for YOU.
 

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Unfortunately, just reaching out to the owners will most often result in a bad situation. First, they will go on the defensive, then on the offensive. The "You complained about me, so I'll make your life miserable" reaction. Second, as mentioned, they may do worse to the dog.

There are ways to talk to neighbors about barking dogs. I had a neighbor dog that barked all day and night bored in the backyard. They had a second dog in the fenced front yard who was a sweetheart and got a lot of attention simply because he was accessible and friendly. After a couple weeks of the barking, I bought a couple kongs. Then I waited. One day, one of the neighbors was out front. I said hello to the front yard dog and then the neighbor. We talked about the front yard dog a bit and then the neighbor brought up their backyard dog. She explained that he was her brother's dog and was just a teenager (dog). The landlord didn't allow dogs in the house. I suddenly said "hang on a minute" and ran in my house. I came back out with the two kongs. I told her a friend had bought them for my dogs but I couldn't use them due to a food aggressive dog and maybe she would like them for her dogs. I added "I hear backyard dog playing with his food bowl a lot and barking at it, so maybe this would keep him busy and entertained."

It worked. She happily took the kongs. She and her brother put more effort into entertaining backyard dog and we had a better neighborly relationship than before.

The catch with this approach is that you have to be able to just chat with the neighbor and let the conversation happen. You can't go over and just start out with the topic or be at all negative about it. You have to be neighborly not interfering.

In the OP's case, this is more difficult to do because you aren't going to see them just hanging out in the yard, etc.

My suggestion to maybe talk to management isn't meant in a formal way. More of a - if you are on good terms with the manager, maybe they'd be able to get closer to the balcony in a legitimate manner and see if there is water available. I did not mean it in a formal complaint way as that can very well backfire.

In the end, it is the dog owner's choice to ignore their dog. It is sad, but emotional neglect is allowed under current laws.
 

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Unfortunately, just reaching out to the owners will most often result in a bad situation. First, they will go on the defensive, then on the offensive. The "You complained about me, so I'll make your life miserable" reaction. Second, as mentioned, they may do worse to the dog.

There are ways to talk to neighbors about barking dogs. I had a neighbor dog that barked all day and night bored in the backyard. They had a second dog in the fenced front yard who was a sweetheart and got a lot of attention simply because he was accessible and friendly. After a couple weeks of the barking, I bought a couple kongs. Then I waited. One day, one of the neighbors was out front. I said hello to the front yard dog and then the neighbor. We talked about the front yard dog a bit and then the neighbor brought up their backyard dog. She explained that he was her brother's dog and was just a teenager (dog). The landlord didn't allow dogs in the house. I suddenly said "hang on a minute" and ran in my house. I came back out with the two kongs. I told her a friend had bought them for my dogs but I couldn't use them due to a food aggressive dog and maybe she would like them for her dogs. I added "I hear backyard dog playing with his food bowl a lot and barking at it, so maybe this would keep him busy and entertained."

It worked. She happily took the kongs. She and her brother put more effort into entertaining backyard dog and we had a better neighborly relationship than before.

The catch with this approach is that you have to be able to just chat with the neighbor and let the conversation happen. You can't go over and just start out with the topic or be at all negative about it. You have to be neighborly not interfering.

In the OP's case, this is more difficult to do because you aren't going to see them just hanging out in the yard, etc.

My suggestion to maybe talk to management isn't meant in a formal way. More of a - if you are on good terms with the manager, maybe they'd be able to get closer to the balcony in a legitimate manner and see if there is water available. I did not mean it in a formal complaint way as that can very well backfire.

In the end, it is the dog owner's choice to ignore their dog. It is sad, but emotional neglect is allowed under current laws.
yes, I agree. if you reach out to the owners just chat, don't bring up the dog straight away or complain about them. And don't do anything that feels unsafe for you, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After going through all the comments I have now a better understanding of all the consequences that can be! Since, I have absolutely no idea about who lives in that apartment and it is on the 2nd floor so I cannot just pass by and hope for a casual chat, because nobody ever stands in the corridor outside their apartment. And they are also not their balcony at like the social day hours. Also, it is a separate building than mine and I am on the ground floor. It would be weird calling out someone who is an eye level above you. They do have a ring doorbell camera on their one and only apartment door, I feel a little apprehensive about going knocking on their door. I am thinking of writing a friendly note or maybe print out something for a dog walking service, for free of course and putting in their mailbox which are in the common area of the buildings. Hoping something works out, fingers crossed!
 

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yes fingers crossed. But please be careful and again, don't do anything you don't feel safe or comfortable with.
 
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