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Hello! I apologize in advance as this will be a long message, but I hope you’ll stick around and read it because I’d really appreciate some advice on what to do here.

I live in a very rural area full of hunters and people who tend to be very protective of their property. One of my next door neighbors about a mile up the road has created a problem with his dogs. He has 15 of them at the least, and I know he has even more inside. He does not spay/neuter them, so they are continuously having more and more litters with each other. They roam around his yard, (which has no fence), are constantly on the road, roam into other peoples properties (mine included), and are a huge nuisance to everyone around. Again, my area is full of hunters, and with these dogs chasing off basically every game animal, several people have threatened (and even admitted to) shooting his dogs. I’ve contacted the local dog warden, as have other people. She disregarded my request to help the situation and has told others that if the dogs are on their property they should shoot them.
I wasn’t completely aware of how bad the situation was until today when my dad and I visited the neighbor who lives directly across from the dogs. As soon as we pulled up to the driveway about five of them came running down to us. They were very underweight, covered in ticks, and the person we went to visit told us that if it rains and a puddle forms, a pileup of dogs will form and drink the water dry. Their owner has suffered from brain damage due to a car accident, so I’m sure that has a part to do with the vast amount and poor care of them, although there are other people in the household.

One day my dad had gone over to talk to him about the dog situation and found out he had a litter of twelve puppies and had given them some sort of “medication” that resulted in eleven dying. Throughout the years he has also had a horse, a cow, and pot bellied pigs who roamed around his yard and all over the road. They all looked like they were being starved to death.

Today one of the lactating dogs came up to me with ticks all over her, very skinny, smelling as though she lived in the sewer. From what I understand there are currently four litters of puppies. I’m sure many of dogs have been shot, killed by coyotes, bobcats, etc. and hit by cars. But the sad thing is, you can’t tell when he has any fewer dogs because more just keep appearing.

I’m going to be honest here - I’m not an adult. I’m not in a position where I can take the dogs in myself. And I’m certainly not the type of person to steal or force away his dogs. Although many of us neighbors have talked to him about fixing the situation and several different people have made calls to the local dog warden, nothing ever changes. I know it’s a tough situation, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be solved.

I would greatly appreciate any opinions on what to do here. These dogs deserve lives where they are properly cared for and don't face constant threats of death. If anyone has dealt with a similar situation or if you simply have some suggestions, that would be wonderful. I’ll continue to contact the dog warden about it but so far nothing has come of it.

Thanks in advance,
Libby
 

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Hi Libby and welcome. You are indeed in a tough situation but it sounds like the dog warden isn't doing her job properly. If I were in your position I would start by researching what the dog warden ought to be looking for - I'm in the UK so it is different but I can easily find online information about our Animal Welfare Act. Check exactly which parts of that show the dogs' needs are neglected and put that, in writing (so there is a paper trail) to the dog warden. Email is fine. Ask her to report her findings. If she doesn't, ask her why. Then take it to whoever she reports to.

She will be a public employee, your family's taxes pay her salary so essentially she works for you. Just telling people to shoot the dogs doesn't sound like she is doing her job.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.
 

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Thank you for caring and not giving up on this horrible situation! If you've spoken to the authorities and gotten no help, try contacting the media! A little publicity of a horrible situation like you're describing will often spur the authorities to act!

I mean, I don't know what state you live in, but all must have some laws against starving animals!

If that doesn't work start a petition and get signatures from other concerned neighbors and anyone else who cares about animal welfare. And send that to both the media and you local politicians!

My guess is that they will take action!
 

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Thank you for being the person who is going to do something about this. I did things like this before I was an adult, and I know it can be hard. but sometimes being a kid is an advantage, too.

I like the advice above. Another possibility is to contact the closest Humane Society in your area, and also the ASPCA. Even if they are not in your county, they will want to help if they can.
Send them all the same documentation you are sending to everyone else. If possible, get photos of the dogs - as many of them as possible, showing how skinny they are, drinking from water puddle, and the ticks, as well as anything else you see and can photograph.

Here's another thing. This is something I do every time I need to get something done and am not at first succeeding with the people I contact. If someone tells me they can't help, I ask them very politely for a suggestion of where else I could try to get help. If they give me another possibility, I contact that one. And so on. I just don't give up. I am very polite to everyone, thank them for their time, and move on to the next possibility. Eventually, I get an answer or the resource I need. This can take time. But if you get results it is worth it.
Sometimes for me this has gone all the way to the mayor's office or to the county or state government. If you just do not ever give up, something can be done.

I applaud your wanting to and being willing to put in the time and energy.
Please report back and let us know how it goes. We might even come up with other suggestions.
 

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Try going over the dog warden's head to the agency who has hired her and tell them she's not doing her job.

If that doesn't work...maybe try to use social media to shame the dog warden/agency. See if you have a local news crew who Loves stories like this...lazy official, serious dog hoarder/dog mistreatment and no one will do anything about it.

And if nothing else, put up your own YouTube or social channel video...see if you can get some views, and people calling in demanding the animal control agency get's off it's butt and help.

There might even be rescue orgs who see the situation and who might volunteer to go in and help. Maybe your parents and neighbors will get in on spotlighting this situation.
 
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Just a word of caution. If the OP puts up a social media post under their own name, there can be a backlash. It actually can even be dangerous. I once called Animal Control on a neighbor who was beating their dog, they found out it was I who called, and after that they harassed me, vandalized my car, put threatening notes in my mailbox, spray painted my living room window, and generally terrorized me. (AND kept beating their dog.)

Even since then I have been very careful to make anonymous reports, or to ask that my name not be revealed to anyone about whom I Animal control.
 
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