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Web letter by Ronda Ross: County neglecting its duty to dogs

This letter comes after I made a phone call to the shelter and then was referred to the sheriff’s department to report that a young dog in the neighborhood was being chained out during all hours of the day, sometimes until 11 p.m. Now it’s not so much the dog being chained out; it is the fact that the dog has no food, no water and no shelter. This occurs in all types of weather. On several occasions this poor creature has been soaked completely to the bone, having been out in the rain and storms all day. On other days, this dog has been out during 90-degree and hotter weather with no shade in sight.

After reporting this abuse, I was told one doesn’t have to provide shelter for their animals and that there is no law as to how long an animal can be chained outside with no shelter, food or water. This is not considered abuse? Neglect? Since when?

So many animal shows on TV these days do a better job of protecting animals’ welfare than Allen County seems to care about doing. Why even have these officers? Apparently, these officers have completely forgotten Indiana Code 35-46-3-7, which states: “Dog owners cannot purposefully abandon or neglect their pet.” The legal definitions of abandonment and neglect are highly nuanced, but for the purposes of containment, you cannot permanently leave your dog if you don’t provide for its long-term care, such as adequate food or drink.

When tying up your dog outside, Indiana Code says it cannot be restrained “for more than a brief period” in any way that would pose a serious danger to its health. In addition, a rope or chain used to restrain your dog must be at least three times the dog’s length from nose to tail.

Furthermore, allowing your dog to be exposed to unreasonable heat or cold is illegal if you don’t provide shade or other means to control the temperature, such as pet housing or blankets. If a dog’s life or health is in danger, you are obligated to provide or seek care.

I have always been an animal lover, and it pains me to see so many animals being abused, neglected or just plain tossed away because their owners don’t care about them anymore, yet the people in the position to help protect these animals don’t seem to care anymore either, of course until it’s too late.

RONDA ROSS

St. Joe

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