The Humane Society has these tips for recognizing a neglected pet.
Signs of neglect:A shocking number of animals die from neglect every year, right under the noses of the entire community. If you see an animal in distress don't assume that someone else will take care of the situation; take action! Pay particular attention to:
- Chained dogs are most likely to die from starvation, dehydration or hypothermia, since their confinement renders them especially vulnerable and helpless.
- Animals without shelter in extreme heat or cold.
- Clearly emaciated animals: clearly visible bones and lethargy can be a sign of an untreated, life-threatening medical condition or imminent starvation.
- Obvious, untreated wounds or other medical conditions: animals who are limping or otherwise demonstrating distress, and animals with multiple patches of missing fur and open sores need treatment.
- Too many animals living on one property. This can be a sign of animal hoarding.
- Dogs or cats inside abandoned homes. Reports of companion animals abandoned and left to die inside vacant buildings or apartment units are startlingly common. If you notice a neighbor has moved or has stopped coming around to a residence where you animals live, be extra vigilant.
- Some dogs bark and whine to express their anxiety when they are left alone, but a dog who is howling or barking for more than a day sending out a clear signal that he's not being attended to. He may be injured or he may be abandoned.
I wants to add that just because a dog is chained doesn't mean it is being neglected and people shouldn't get their panties in a wad just because a dog is chained up. Mommy had to keep me on a chain for awhile. Mommy made sure I had shelter (my dog house), she made sure the chain was long enough for me to move around a large area, and she made sure I always had food and water and she took me walking so I could do my business away from where I was chained. I also got to come inside the house often to spend time with her.
Annie Tuiren reporting for ATCAD