Thread: Tethered dog
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Old 08-31-2005
jimbo jimbo is offline
Certified Posting ACO
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 70
Default Your Focus Should be?

The animal should be your focus! I did not read anything about the condition of the dog. The apparatus that confines the dog should be almost irrelevant. You will have a really hard time in a court of law charging anyone with a crime for keeping an animal in the manner that you described. Animals, like humans, vary on a huge spectrum of preferences and apptitudes. The dog may love being outside, you could not know, he can't tell you.

The condition of the dog is the most important factor. I would, if concerned with an animal in a similar situation, order that the owner provide a Vet. Statement. I don't know about your jurisdiction, but here in Texas ACO's have the authority to order the owner to provide a written statement from a licensed Veterinarian. That is a sure way to make sure that the animal gets to see the doctor!

Most of the time the Veterinarian will be able to vaccinate the animal for Rabies, Parvo, Distemper, Hepetitis A & B, Leptospiris, Corona you know the good stuff. He also would get treated for anything else that the Veterinarian finds, if he doesn't, you now have written proof that the owner falied to treat an obvious injury or illness. That alone would get you close to a seizure warrant in almost any jursdiction, if you need to go that far.

The Veterinarian, may give the animal a clean bill of health in which case you still have managed to ensure that the animal received a doctor visit, and all that that implies. You should educate the owner by having a civil discussion with him, or her. Remember that badgering or proving to everyone that hears your discussion that you love animals more than they do, or that you would take better care of the dog, does very little to make the dog's situation any better. Be as nice as you can, people respond much better to being treated with dignity than being talked down to.

Educate the owner! Let them know that you will return to follow up, and that you may take further enforcement action, if they do not comply with your orders, or if you do not see improvement in the animal's condition. Just make sure that you keep yourself within your authority. You can educate these type of people if you leave their dignity intact, you will not serve the animal's interest by winning a spitting contest with the owners.

Use enforcement action as your tool, do not hesitate to issue citations for violations of the law that you see. I like Teddy Roosevelt's approach, "Talk softly, and carry a really thick citation book".
I would immediately issue a citation if the dog doesn't have on a Rabies tag, I think that is the most under enforced issue in Animal Control, I issue a citation for no I.D. at almost every time I see an animal without a tag!

Did I mention to leave the animal owners with their dignity intact? You can be strict and get results without being combative. How much help will the animal get if the owners are just hassled and angry at the whole situation, as opposed to left feeling that the well being of their animal is the entire "focus" of your visit.
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