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My neighbor is neglecting her animal

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  • My neighbor is neglecting her animal

    We just moved to a home on 2 acres and theres a neighbor across from us she seems to have 5 horses a donkey 2/3 dogs about 15 cats. We have been living here for over 5 months and never once have any of these animals been exercised or groomed. She does feed them. But her cats are diseased and dying i have found 2 on my property dead so far. She of course claims they are not hers but i have seen these cats come onto my property all the time to run around but im most concerned about are the horses and dogs. It breaks my heart to see them try to gallop and play but there is no space for them to do that. All of her fencing and shelters are makeshift stalls made from whatever's available materials she finds lying around. And the space these animals have is maybe a 3rd acre area. For all of them including 3/4 cars 2 rvs and god only knows else. I dont know if this considered abuse if it is who do i call?

  • #2
    Whether this counts as abuse will depend on local laws and local norms.

    You should contact the local SPCA or animal control. Anonymously of course. A craycray neighbor that thinks you called AC on her can cause you some serious grief.

    It is quite possible that she is in contravention of local bylaws about number of livestock on a small piece of property and that is also worth investigating by calling city hall about those rules. Be warned though that if you are also in contravention of those rules you could get caught up in the sweep. I mean if the laws say 10 acres to keep livestock and you only have 5 acres and a horse but no one has noticed yet you could lose your horse too. So research this before you act.

    As far as the dead cats they don't usually just topple over and die unless they've been poisoned. Is there rat poison on your property? From previous owners? You also need to call AC to remove and document the dead cats, otherwise it is het word against yours. And maybe AC can determine cause of death.

    She may also be over the local ordinances on number of cats.

    Alot depends if you are in an actual town or if this is a backwoods hamlet without much zoning or oversight. Also when you look around are there alot of properties that resemble your neighbors, or is it generally a tidy community with few hill billy pockets? If the latter there will be more enforcement of rules and regs. If you are in an unincorporated or rural area or a poverty pocket where this kind of thing is fairly common then it might be harder to get anyone to act.

    Anyhow sorry you have been dropped into this but checking out the neighbors is rule #1 for buying smaller rural properties.

    You might also want to determine if she owns the property or rents and if she rents out pressure on landlord.
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    • #3
      Not exercising or grooming horses and donkeys is not generally considered neglect. Neither are ramshackle fences and stalls. Neither are small paddocks. I'm not sure what to make of the diseased and dying cats. But if she says they aren't hers, I'm not sure there is any recourse. The might easily be cats that have been dumped or feral cats that she is putting food out for. It's possible that there are codes for your area that she is breaking, like over the maximum number of equines for the size of her property, or number of cats, I don't know. That kind of thing varies greatly by area.

      As long as her animals have food, shelter and water, it is unlikely that she will meet any criteria for neglect. Calling Animal Control about your neighbor is unlikely to have any positive effect on the situation and might cause your relationship with your neighbor to decline. So I would encourage you to concentrate on your own property and your own animals for the time being. Obviously if you see any evidence that she is breaking any laws or not providing food, water, shelter, or basic vet care, then in that case obviously make the call. In the meantime, you might want to consider strategically planted landscaping to block your view of this person's property.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
        Not exercising or grooming horses and donkeys is not generally considered neglect. Neither are ramshackle fences and stalls. Neither are small paddocks. I'm not sure what to make of the diseased and dying cats. But if she says they aren't hers, I'm not sure there is any recourse. The might easily be cats that have been dumped or feral cats that she is putting food out for. It's possible that there are codes for your area that she is breaking, like over the maximum number of equines for the size of her property, or number of cats, I don't know. That kind of thing varies greatly by area.

        As long as her animals have food, shelter and water, it is unlikely that she will meet any criteria for neglect. Calling Animal Control about your neighbor is unlikely to have any positive effect on the situation and might cause your relationship with your neighbor to decline. So I would encourage you to concentrate on your own property and your own animals for the time being. Obviously if you see any evidence that she is breaking any laws or not providing food, water, shelter, or basic vet care, then in that case obviously make the call. In the meantime, you might want to consider strategically planted landscaping to block your view of this person's property.

        ^^^This.

        As as far as the cats running on your two acres --- well two acres is nothing --- all sorts of critters probably cross your two acres when you are not watching. We have 25 acres - having been raised on a dairy farm, this 25 acres isn't a lot either.

        My neighbor's cats come in my barn all the time. There is also a feral cat that I know does not have a home -- he comes in my barn and gorges himself on catfood when he gets really hungry --- I know this because I set the game cam up to see who all was partaking at the cat food bowl.

        My point is don't be so quick to judge because the person's set up does not meet your criteria. The person could probably use some help. If you really care, why not introduce yourself and gently ask if there's anything you can help with --- like those fences or maybe a leaking roof and/or plant those bushes so you can't see over there---

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        • #5
          Nothing you're describing is neglect or abuse, especially if the cats have been dumped and *aren't* hers.

          If you post where you live, we can help you with the animal abuse laws specific to your area. In general, it's food and water. Sometimes there are shelter requirements.

          Grooming and exercise have nothing to do with animal neglect regulations.

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