Not long before Earth Hour 2011 I went vegan. During Earth Hour I unplugged everything in my home, pulled out my trashcan and spent the time reading the labels on the food in my kitchen and getting rid of all animal products.
It would have been a great way to celebrate both Earth Hour and my decision to go vegan but filling the silence in my home were the cries of the doggie next door.
I won’t go into all the history but my neighbor now has two beautiful boxers. During Earth Hour she had left one of the dogs (long story but one had moved out temporarily) outside for a full 24 hours and the little girl was crying so loudly it was all I could hear. I ended up sitting on my kitchen flood hugging my dog Toni and crying. I felt helpless. No laws were being broken, no one would come to help.
Then the other doggie moved back in and since they were both left outside for long stretches of time and because no one ever made the effort to teach them manners, they destroyed several pieces of lawn furniture and repeatedly broke boards/gates off the privacy fence to get out and roam the neighborhood. I can’t tell you how many times I would open my garage door from the inside to be greeted by two big, tail wagging boxers. I would gasp from surprise and then laugh my ass off from the happy wagging dogs looking back at me and at my initial fear response.
This last winter we had a few snow days. One night the dogs were left outside until after 11:00pm with no shelter. They cried and cried at the door begging to be let in. I went out to the fence and tried to talk to them. I tossed over a few doggie biscuits that they ignored. It wasn’t food they wanted, they wanted someone to care and open the door for them, and give them a little warmth. I called animal control and was told if they are still outside in the morning to give them a call. My neighbors got home at about midnight and let the dogs in.
This last week after a particularly eventful period of broken fences, escaped dogs, and destroyed lawn furniture, my neighbors got a dog kennel that is only 5 feet by 10 feet. They put it on the concrete patio without any cover. The first evening I come home to screams (actual screams) from one of the dogs. It sounded like a child. I kept going to the fence to check on them. Portland is in the middle of a heat wave right now and I was very scared for them. I again called animal control and was told to document the barking for a couple of days and then I could register a complaint about the noise. WTF!
But the barking and the cries have stopped. The beautiful babies are still locked outside in a small cage with almost no shelter from the sun…but they stopped crying so the city doesn’t care. It is so hot out that I won’t walk my dogs because of the temperature of the pavement. This same hot pavement is what the babies next door are laying on.
I very strongly believe that if someone takes on the responsibility of taking an animal into their home then they are absolutely responsible for them, for life. But in this case, I so very, very much wish my neighbors would give up the dogs. The dogs are living a painful life and the owners clearly do not care about them. So let them go. Give them a chance to find a loving home.
Both of my dogs are rescues. KC came from a puppy mill that was shut down. The first family that took her gave her back because she wouldn’t play. Mr Bo is 10 years old and had a very hard life on the streets and then uncared for in a home that let his skin become covered with sores. I love my dogs and so many other people would love my neighbor’s dogs if they would just do the decent thing and let them go.