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Do I "steal" these dogs?

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  • Do I "steal" these dogs?

    That sounds inflammatory, I know, but I'll try to make the story brief - I need some advice, because I'm sick over this situation.

    Here's the Cliff Notes version.

    About a year ago, I found a puppy by the side of the road near where we live. After keeping puppy for a week, putting up signs, one of my neighbors actually said it was "their" puppy, in that someone had dumped four puppies beside the road, and they had kept two, and another neighbor kept two. It broke my heart to return the puppy to them, but I didn't know what else to do.

    When I say neighbor, they live on the other side of the paved road from me - about half a mile, separated by a moderately busy paved country road. I tried to ask the neighbor if they really wanted to keep the dog, or if they wanted to let me find a good home for him, since he was a cute puppy, and very adoptable at the time. The answer was "we kind of like having him and the other one around". I tried to suggest they should take him to the vet (he had worms when I got him, and I gave them the dewormer I'd gotten from the vet), and they should definitely get he and his sister fixed as soon as possible.

    Didn't hear much after that. Fast forward a year. Three times now, we've spotted both dogs on our side of the road, neither with collars on, running free, chasing deer or squirrels or what have you. This morning, I found them in my front yard, chasing squirrels, which made my dogs nuts. I went up to them, they are very friendly, neither has been fixed, and the little girl has already had a litter of puppies, apparently. They are a bit skinny, but not terrible. I petted them for a bit, and then they went off tromping through the woods.

    So now tell me, what do I do? These neighbors aren't really dog people, they just kind of throw some food down for them. The woman is gone all day long with work, and the husband is hardly there either. The dogs are roaming further and further. Now I'm afraid to walk my dogs, because if these "puppies" run up to them, we're going to have a huge dogfight.

    And I'm dreading the day that I see one of these young dogs on the side of the road after being hit by a car.

    What do I do? They have no collars on, no identification. The owners aren't going to put up a fence - I think they're already stressed financially with the house. If I complain to them about their dogs running free, I'm afraid they will chain them up or worse. Do I just pick them up, put them in my car, and try to take them to a rescue group that will find a good home for them?

    I admit, I'm crazy about my dogs - we have three, and they all live inside with us and have a huge fenced yard they can go in during the day. I know not everyone feels the same way about dogs. But now I'm worried about taking my dogs out, and I'm terrified these young dogs are going to get hit by a car or worse, since they are starting to roam further and further.

    Please help - I need any advice you can offer!!!!

  • #2
    I would call animal control and advise them of the situation. Taking the dogs would be theft, regardless of your motives.
    Visit my Spoonflower shop

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    • #3
      I might present the owners w/ the option: care for dogs properly, or I call animal control. With a date limit on establishing care. If they tell you to go to hell, call animal control right away. Loose un-altered dogs running along a busy road can't possibly be ok w/ them.
      I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
      I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

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      • #4
        Call animal control, loose dogs at your farm could be harmful to your livestock. Then lock them up on their next visit, call animal control to come get them.

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        • #5
          I have a neighbor like this. I have, when the dogs come onto my property, put them in an empty stall and called animal control. Works very well when I play dumb about knowing where they "live".
          "I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you..."

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          • #6
            Picking up dogs that have strayed onto your property and taking them to the animal shelter is not stealing. It's true that they may end up being euthanized at the shelter (the owners don't sound like the type to come look for them), but that's probably better than being hit by cars or spending life on a chain.

            I would NOT get involved with trying to make these people better dog owners. All that will do is most likely create hostility. Then, when the dogs get lost or hit by cars, or when you finally do take them in to the shelter, the owners will blame you.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks for the tips so far - I know it's not technically stealing, but I'm very torn at the thought of taking them to the shelter when I know who "owns" them. I'll use that word very loosely. But I also need to stay anonymous in the whole thing, because if they know who took the dogs in, that will create a whole different level of problem.

              I'm kicking myself for returning the dog to them a year ago, when he was an adorable adoptable puppy - I should have lied my a$$ off then and say I didn't know what happened to the dog. He would have had a far better life.

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              • #8
                You really should call animal control, the dogs may be 'owned' by the people across the road but the dogs are still 'at large' and pose a danger to themselves, people driving, and you. I understand that they are friendly but you have expressed concern about your own dogs safety so clearly they are a problem.
                My blog: Crackerdog Farm

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                • #9
                  Because you think the owners aren't there during the day, keep the dogs in a smaller area, and call animal control. The so-called owners will never look for them, and if they ask play ignorant.
                  You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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                  • #10
                    This past summer I scooped up a cat who appeared to be living on the grounds of a community center. I vaccinated & fixed her and found her a home. I spent exactly 0 seconds looking for her owner or wondering whether I should pick her up. A few months later, driving by that community center, I saw a dead cat in the road who was an unmistakable sibling of the kitty I rehomed. (very loud and distinctive calico)

                    If I find an uncollared, skinny, flea-covered, unsupervised cat or dog in public space, I can't say that I have the slightest qualm about removing it from the low quality care it is currently getting to what I can do for it, if I can do anything.

                    I have done it before (2 of mine, picked up from city streets). And I will do it again. So far there are no warrants for my arrest, nor any signs announcing the sad missing kitties.

                    When you ask worthless animal owners if they want their semi-cared-for animals, they always say yes, and then they go back to not caring for them.
                    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

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                    • #11
                      Take dogs to the shelter, tell shelter situation & that you're doing so anonymously because you fear repercussions, & don't look back.

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                      • #12
                        Or, if you fear the dogs will be euthed, get their vaccs, get them neutered, and rehome.

                        Hey, for all you know, you didn't recognize them as the same dogs from last year. Clearly they're not out searching for them, so obviously, they don't give a hoot if they never come back.

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                        • #13
                          Around here, when you call animal control, you can have them call you back if the owner is found, or if they are coming up for adoption or euth (to give you- the finder- a chance to scoop em up first)
                          if you havent fallen off a horse….then you havent been ridin long enough

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                          • #14
                            LoriB ..... I love you


                            Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                            This past summer I scooped up a cat who appeared to be living on the grounds of a community center. I vaccinated & fixed her and found her a home. I spent exactly 0 seconds looking for her owner or wondering whether I should pick her up. A few months later, driving by that community center, I saw a dead cat in the road who was an unmistakable sibling of the kitty I rehomed. (very loud and distinctive calico)

                            If I find an uncollared, skinny, flea-covered, unsupervised cat or dog in public space, I can't say that I have the slightest qualm about removing it from the low quality care it is currently getting to what I can do for it, if I can do anything.

                            I have done it before (2 of mine, picked up from city streets). And I will do it again. So far there are no warrants for my arrest, nor any signs announcing the sad missing kitties.

                            When you ask worthless animal owners if they want their semi-cared-for animals, they always say yes, and then they go back to not caring for them.
                            the NOT!! Spoiled!! Arabian Protectavest poster pony lives on in my heart

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                            • #15
                              macmtn, you are too kind.

                              In my experience, on this board we mistake our own typically higher sense of responsibility towards animals for what we expect others to exhibit. And it really ain't necessarily that way.
                              I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                              I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If you really wanted to rehome them, then I don't think you can tell the shelter the real situation. Wouldn't they have an obligation then to reunite the dogs with the owner?
                                Confiscating the dogs is morally ambiguous at best. If it's not a situation where the authorities would take official action, then maybe it's not a situation where you should take covert action (even though it sounds like it would be an upgrade for the dogs). Not condemning you if you do it, but think hard to make sure it's really justified. Keep in mind there's no guarantee that you'll get to remain anonymous.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by spacytracy View Post
                                  Or, if you fear the dogs will be euthed, get their vaccs, get them neutered, and rehome.

                                  Hey, for all you know, you didn't recognize them as the same dogs from last year. Clearly they're not out searching for them, so obviously, they don't give a hoot if they never come back.
                                  This...I've been very successful rehoming strays. I think I have a more "personal" interest than a local shelter and some of the adopters keep in touch for years!!! I hate to see an animal neglected, but I also hate to see one in a cage hoping to be adopted. I find the guidlines for adoption a bit limiting for potential good homes and not that I blame them...the fees are getting a bit out of hand along with the "application process"!! If you rehome them, YOU will feel better about it!! Good luck.
                                  www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                                  Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                                    This past summer I scooped up a cat who appeared to be living on the grounds of a community center. I vaccinated & fixed her and found her a home. I spent exactly 0 seconds looking for her owner or wondering whether I should pick her up. A few months later, driving by that community center, I saw a dead cat in the road who was an unmistakable sibling of the kitty I rehomed. (very loud and distinctive calico)

                                    If I find an uncollared, skinny, flea-covered, unsupervised cat or dog in public space, I can't say that I have the slightest qualm about removing it from the low quality care it is currently getting to what I can do for it, if I can do anything.

                                    I have done it before (2 of mine, picked up from city streets). And I will do it again. So far there are no warrants for my arrest, nor any signs announcing the sad missing kitties.

                                    When you ask worthless animal owners if they want their semi-cared-for animals, they always say yes, and then they go back to not caring for them.
                                    I agree with this 100%. All of my cats have been strays, and if any of them belonged to someone, too bad, you should have put a collar on them, spayed or neutered them, fed them, etc.

                                    Our dogs actually came from a situation somewhat similar to the OP. A friend of ours lived in a rural area, and the neighbors let their dogs run wild and breed. Their were literally packs of semi-feral dogs running around. Our dogs were born in a collapsed barn. Our friend got sick of it, had the female spayed (to this day I don't know if he told the owners or if he just had it done and returned her), and told them he would try to find homes for the last batch of puppies. Our two (male and female now 13 years old) were the only two of the last litter that made it. One or two just disappeared, at least one got hit by a car, and the sire (is that the right word for dogs?) was shot by another neighbor.

                                    I would catch them, call animal control, and play dumb. Conversely, you could just start feeding them, wait a decent period of time and "adopt" them, and then play dumb if the neighbor ever questions you. "Oh, these were your dogs?, they just showed up and wouldn't leave, I assumed they were strays."

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                                    • #19
                                      I had a neighborhood dog, an intact male boxer, roaming our neighborhood. He would run through our yard, chase a cat or two, and disappear as quickly... until we came home one day and he was in the goat pen and one of the goats died the next morning. I think the dumb boxer just chased him too much, the goat seemed ok when we hauled the dog out of the pen but then he died over night. We hauled the dang dog straight to the pound before we knew the goat was going to die. Took him there and said hey I found this dog on my property. then come to find out I had to sign a release with my name, address, phone number and ALL info. Neighborhood is flat as a pancake, I can see their house from mine and it's no trick to know whose dog is whose and I don't want my name in this mess when neighbors seem sketchy to say the least. I told them umm, I don't want all my info attached to this dog b/c I know he belongs to my neighbor but I want Neighbor to face the music and come pay/fetch him and be responsible. Oh but as far as we know this dog is YOUR property and you have to sign away for him. OK I say, we'll take him home and shoot him instead. OH GOODNESS BETSY HOLD ON and here comes the shelter manager and what do you know we worked something out.

                                      Just sayin'-in the same situation again, I'd just vaporize the dog and I don't mean kill it. Grab it, take it far away, find a safe rehoming process or keep it, but beware if you go through channels.
                                      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                                      • #20
                                        cowboy mom, you crack me up. spoken like a true montana woman!
                                        "If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up somewhere else."

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