Gaping wounds, old scars and broken bones are not the only signs of dog abuse that you may encounter in your own community. Dog abuse, sadly, comes in many varieties but all result in unnecessary suffering. If you suspect dog abuse in your community, please write down or photograph what you see and then contact your local animal control services. But you can also contact your local police, especially if you live in America or England.
Have you ever walked by a chained dog week after week and noticed that it is always on a chain? In some locations, chaining a dog 24 hours every day is considered a punishable offence. If the dog lives outdoors but does not adequate shelter in winter or shade in summer or seems to be getting thinner and thinner, please contact your police or animal control officers.
Don’t take for granted that dogs living outdoors 24/7 are being cared for. They may have been abandoned – even if the owner is still living insider of the home. More than one chained dog has been starved to death because the owner lost interest in the dog and could not be bothered to feed it any more.
Is there a home in the neighbourhood that constantly has a bad smell coming from it? Are there any carcasses of dogs, cats or other animals about the place? If anyone approaches the door, are they greeted with a chorus of barks and snarls? Or is the yard in the home getting filled up with more and more dogs as the weeks pass on by?
These could be signs of hoarders. Many animal hoarders are mentally ill. They may have taken a few stray dogs in, thinking that they were saving the dogs from being euthanized at the local pound. But they did not realize they would have to provide vet care, training and basic grooming for the animals. They keep bringing more and more in until dozens or even hundreds of animals are crammed onto one small piece of property.
The hoarder does not clean the dogs nor pick up the droppings. The dogs become very sick through ammonia burns, fights, parasites and being denied fresh air, exercise and food. Many of the dogs are so ill and unsocialized that the kindest option for them is to be put to sleep, but some may be saved.
Is there a dog in the neighbourhood that is clearly injured but the owner does not seem to think that there is anything wrong with the dog? If the dog is acting otherwise normally and not constantly licking at the wound, bald patch, scar or whatever, then chances are the owner is right. A good dog owner will be happy to talk to you about the vet care the dog has received and will cooperate with any police or animal control officers that come to investigate.