Legal Intervention for a Neglected Dog

Do your Best job of Diplomacy Before calling Animal Control


One of my neighbors has had his Labrador confined behind his house (on the windowless side) for years.  Never walks him, now had a debark collar installed.  The dog is outside day and night, very lonely.  I have tried to talk to the neighbor, but the answer has been “mind your own business.”  What organization can I contact to do something to help this poor, lonely creature?


Dr. Nichol:

You are a kind soul to want to help this dog. Boredom is a destructive force. Creatures of any species who live in an absence of their natural stimuli develop self destructive compulsive behaviors. But making an effective change in the life of this neighbor dog may be a challenge.


There are many excellent dog and cat rescue groups that share your concerns but the only entity with legal authority is the animal control department. In Albuquerque these folks go by the moniker Animal Services Division (768-1975). With your detailed account of the problem they will dispatch an officer to investigate.


These are delicate situations. What is clearly inhumane and improper care to you and I may seem appropriate, even loving, to someone else. Thoughtful suggestions and offers to exercise that fine Lab might help more. If he seems a lot happier in your care his owner may even consider giving him the gift of a new and better home. I suggest doing your best job of diplomacy before calling in the troops.