Please Help: Dog in Trouble from Owner, My Neglectful Boyfriend – How Do I Intervene?

I REALLY need help. I’m not a dog lover. Never wanted to be, but I would never intentionally hurt a dog ever. I felt sorry for my ex who lost his home and had nowhere to go, along with his dog. His dog was only supposed to be at my place a couple of days tops, and then he was to find a home, any home; but it was not to be with me, as I could get evicted for having a pet of any kind in my apartment. I have a little girl who also needs a roof over her head, so this is serious business. Now, I don’t know what to do, how to get him out, but first, to get the dog out. I don’t want any part of owning a dog. If he’s not here, the dog lunges for my front door and claws at it and won’t listen to me; so the only solution he’s had is to put her in a crate. The dog (she) is hurting herself on the crate he keeps her in though. She is very strong and smart at loosening the latches on it. Should I take her and let her loose in the wild? Like I said, I know nothing about dogs, period. It seems the pound might hurt her badly, and at least letting her loose gives her a shot at finding another owner? He says he’s tried to have her adopted and called up rescue places, but they haven’t been helpful. I cannot deal with her another day, and what he’s doing is bordering on abuse. I go on and on about it with him, but he just tells me he’s “tired of hearing about it.” I have the urge to stick her in my car and drive far into the country and let her go find a better home. But it’s his dog, so will I get into trouble for doing so, even if he’s hurting her inadvertently? Ack! I just don’t know. I don’t want to get him into trouble, but her nose is all pink and bloodied from the crate, and she just doesn’t seem smart enough to stop hurting herself. She’s like a wild animal. WHAT the heck is the RIGHT thing to do? Please help me. I want out of this stupid situation that I got into all for being wishy-washy with him, but I think the dog deserves better. He is trying to keep her like this until he goes on a trip around the country in his new RV in March; but this is NOT going to fly for me, and he is nowhere close to trying to find her a home. He’s not even working. Just parked himself on my couch, and now I can’t get rid of him either. I feel so trapped and that I can’t ask someone I know either 😦 I’m a working professional woman, loving mom, trying to have a normal, CALM life. I don’t want to live in drama nor in a zoo!
#dog #dogs #animal #animals #pet #pets #abuse #cruelty #humanesociety

20 thoughts on “Please Help: Dog in Trouble from Owner, My Neglectful Boyfriend – How Do I Intervene?

  1. resullins says:

    [Oh dear lord. You need to get this dog away from this guy (for the sake of not calling him “this guy” for the next four paragraphs, I’m going to name him Steve). Steve is irresponsible, neglectful, and lazy. Three things you absolutely CAN NOT be when you’re responsible for another life, even if it is a dog. He obviously hasn’t trained this dog, he doesn’t walk her or play with her… he’s a BAD pet parent. Plain and simple.

    So, regardless of what you do with Steve, get that dog into a better place. DO NOT release her into the wild. Where I live, that’s going to mean a starving dog that gets shot by the neighbors. Most likely ones with really bad aim, who won’t kill her, but will just wound her so she’ll die a slow and painful death in the cold. Take her to a humane society preferably. The city or county pounds have much higher kill rates. If she’s purebred or dominantly one breed, you could look into breed-specific rescues in your area. They’re usually better with high needs dogs, which this one seems to be.

    As for Steve, you need to get him off your couch. Tell him he has two weeks to either find a job and start paying rent, or he has to leave. Period. He’s taking advantage of your hospitality. This is ridiculous. He’s a freeloader, and he will continue being a freeloader until he has no other option. I understand that he’s your friend, but he’s not acting like it. Dude needs to go. Stand up for yourself, your home, and your daughter.

  2. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [I agreed with pretty much everything Res has said above.

    First, and most important, do NOT let the dog out on her own to fend for her self; on the off-chance that she’ll find another home.

    It’s quite obvious that she has had little, to no, training and has a lot of energy to burn as well. I’m guessing she’s fairly young and likely still at that puppy age. She needs care, exercise, and a routine. Though I know you stated that you have no desire to have a dog, I’m quite certain if you established yourself as the dogs owner (in the eyes of the dog, the Alpha) she would begin listening and obeying you in no time.

    I’m hoping he at least has dog treats, or even dog food; so you could start using that to establish trust with the dog. Use a few bits of food, or a treat, as a reward each time the dog does something good (listening to you, going outside, behaving, etc). Dogs respond incredibly well to positive reinforcement.

    Again, I know this doesn’t sound like your “cup of tea”; but this is at least something you can try to do while looking for a place to take the dog in.

    When looking for a place to bring her, please please please try to find a shelter/rescue with a ‘No Kill’ policy. They exist, they are plenty out there, and they aren’t as rare as people think. If she’s truly as wild and without training as she appears to be then she probably wouldn’t last long in place that regularly euthanizes animals.

    When talking to these places let them know that her owner is being incredibly neglectful and that dog’s health and safety are negative because of this. This sort of neglect can even be reported to your local law enforcement or animal control…however in those circumstances there isn’t a guarantee that the dog will end up in a place that doesn’t euthanize.

    As for this guy (aka Steve) – you need to kick him out on his ass.

    • kerplunkLYN says:

      [Yes, please do not let the dog out to fend for itself. Can you share the dog’s breed, age, and your general location? I’m happy to do some research for you & send you some options. There’s nothing that saddens me more than a dog who is put down because of irresponsible pet ownership. 😦

    • resullins says:

      [@kerplunkLYN: I thought about asking the same thing… but figured if the OP didn’t know enough not to just let the dog out into the wild, she probably wasn’t going to know breed. If there’s a link to a picture somewhere, perhaps she could share that and we could help?

  3. Taurwen says:

    [Okay, first do NOT release this dog “in the wild” at best she’ll starve to death. At worse she’ll end up attacking someone. The most likely scenario is the one Res spoke of, she’ll get shot and bleed out to death in a lot of pain. So no, no, under NO circumstances should you do that.

    Otherwise, I’m a little bit more callous than most people. I say that when Steve leaves for any given reason you change the locks (Or install some kind of chain lock, whatever) and send the dog to a pound/shelter. Preferably a no kill. Have Steve’s stuff waiting for him outside the door to your apartment, including the name and address of the shelter/pound where his dog is. After that it’s up to him to do whatever he wants.
    I’m not sure about other places but in my city a dog in the pound is easy to get back with a small fee. It’d be much harder for him to get her back from a rescue, and I’m not sure many rescues would take her if she’s aggressive and untrained.
    But as long as she’s got a roof over her head you’ve done way more than you’re obligated to do. You have to look out for your little one.

    • resullins says:

      [I wouldn’t mind the idea of booting him and changing the locks at all… except that she has a daughter. I don’t know if Steve is likely to stalk or threaten the apartment. If he’s really vindictive, he could call her landlord and tell them about the dog and have her evicted, or call CPS. The OP needs to evaluate the situation and move forward with removing Steve from her life… but sometimes throwing them out can backfire on you.

    • Taurwen says:

      [That’s very true. I did assume he was just a lazy couch potato and stalking/threatening was beyond his desired energy level.
      Please O.P. do what you think it’s safe to do.

  4. LCP says:

    [I’m sorry, but even someone who has never owned dogs should realize that dumping a dog out of a car is a terrible, irresponsible thing to do. Please, please don’t do that, ever.

    You and Steve need to take the dog to the Humane Society ( They may charge a small fee, but they will not “hurt her badly” and it’s her shot at finally getting trained and loved like she should be.

    It would be better if Steve took her, but if he refuses, you can take her yourself and tell a white lie about your ex leaving her with you. Yes, surrendering someone else’s dog is not exactly kosher, but neither you nor Steve is a good owner for this dog. If Steve wants her back, he can get her back from the Humane Society… after he moves off your couch and out of your life.

    Yes, your next step should be making that white lie true by making Steve your ex. There are two helpless lives in your care: your daughter’s and the dog’s. Please think of them first.

  5. Joyce says:

    [DO NOT do that to the dog. It is not her fault for her ex’s actions. A dog really is a POSITIVE life-changing event, with training of course makes it even better! If you really don’t want the dog which I think is unfortunate–I used to not love animals and not want pets but now I’m the opposite after having fostered a family member’s pet for two years.

    There are PLENTY of rescues everywhere–DO NOT release the dog in the wild NOR take the dog to a kill shelter–always call the shelter to ask if it is a kill shelter or not. A shelter is different than a rescue, please note this difference. Rescues take animals and have them fostered, trained, fed, see the vet, etc. until they are adopted.

    It will take you maybe 30 minutes of your day to find rescues, call them and either take the dog to the rescue or they can pick up depending on the rescue. Out of your ex and the dog, the dog should be your main concern in making sure she finds a place she is better off–the dog cannot help her position in life–your releasing her into the “wild” makes it even worse, not only for the dog but for you. You will feel guilty and you should, if you do that. And, it is a form of abuse and cruel punishment for which she has done nothing to deserve such punishment.

    As for your ex, boot him, but give him two weeks at the most. And, if anything, give him a list of shelters/housing in the area, a list of links for welfare programs, job sites and places where he can research all this–like the public library if he does not have a computer.

    All said,
    DO: take 30 minutes to an hour to research, call and take the dog to a RESCUE group
    DON’T: take the dog to a shelter unless it is a no-kill shelter
    DO: tell the ex he has two weeks to figure out a job/place to live and to leave
    DO: tell the ex the dog is going to a rescue group at the end of those two weeks to give him a chance to leave with the dog before taking the dog to the rescue

  6. lilredbmw says:

    [Poor dog. She is probably nervous, anxious and frightened. What breed is she? There are many “breed specific” rescues out there, that might be willing to take her in, rehab her, and find her a new home. If she is a mixed breed, or you do not know her breed, try an animal shelter. The thing is, I can’t tell you that she wouldn’t be put down, but she would be better off if you gave her a chance. Generally, if a dog can prove adoptable, they will not euthanize them.
    Better, yet, have your ex do it. You are not responsible to take care of your ex, or his dog. Your ex should be leaving, now, and HE should be taking HIS dog with him. I’m not sure why you are willing to let the ex stay. He’s your ex. For some reason. And now you can add “dog abuser” to the list of reasons he’s not your boyfriend. Consider them a duo…and they both need to find new doghouse!

  7. Dennis Hong says:

    [Some additional comments from a friend of mine who works with animals:

    Well, depending on where she lives, she can’t just dump the dog or she can be legally liable (as is the case in Dallas, for example, where dogs are considered private property and taking someone’s dog without their permission is a misdemeanor).

    Honestly, the cruelest thing to do is to dump the dog in the country because she would essentially be abandoning a dog to a situation of potential death, disease, abuse, hunger/starvation, or encounter with a wild animal.

    If there are no laws in her area regarding dogs as property, she can possibly take him to the shelter. research the kill rate of her local shelter(s): is it acceptably low? How active is the shelter with promoting the dogs in their care? Does it have an active volunteer group that promotes the shelter dogs on sites like Facebook? etc.

    Rescue groups are really,r eally hard to reach if it’s an “owner surrender” (which this would be) because most prioritize shelter dogs or street dogs. They’re overrun with requests for intake (we get 10-12/day, and we’re a small group), and we can’t take most of them because we have limited foster availability.

    But she can keep trying and calling, begging, emailing, until she reaches one.
    But if all else fails, I recommend taking the dog to a shelter. At least she’s giving him a chance at being adopted, getting fed, a safe place to sleep, and evaluation by folks famliar with dog behavior. Dumping him in the country would give him none of that.
    Someone else recommended breed-specific rescues, which can be easier to get into but not guaranteed.

    • LCP says:

      [Great advice. Many people are obviously wary of “kill” shelters, but it’s not like they take in dogs and immediately euthanize them (only PETA does that!) — unless the dog has serious behavioral problems, she will be treated well, evaluated, played with (possibly for the first time ever), and hopefully found a loving home.

    • Matt Sanchelli says:

      [LCP – I don’t think anyone was implying that taking this dog to a kill shelter would mean immediate euthanasia.

      I know I recommended finding a ‘No Kill’ because it sounds like this dog may need a significant amount of training/socialization. This could very well take time.

      On top of that adoption isn’t a guarantee and some places will only keep a dog for X-amount of time before they put it down. This time frame various from place to place.

      If she were to take this dog to a place with a No Kill policy the dog would literally have virtually as long as it wanted to wait for adoption.

    • LCP says:

      [Good point — I just don’t think the OP should leave out any avenues because it sounds like she may have a tough time finding a place for this dog.

  8. Ecrivaine32 says:

    [Thanks for all of the comments. I’m highly embarrassed and sorry if I offended any dog lovers, but I appreciate that your comments were all kind, intelligent, useful, and well-thought-out. These comments are truly helpful. I really do want to do the right thing and will not let her loose like that now that I am schooled better on this. I grew up in the country for many years, and our pets always ran wild and didn’t stay in the house. They were let out to “do their thing” mostly and then let back in occasionally to eat and such. So I guess I was thinking in that context of pets not being particularly house animals.

    By the way, she’s a Shiba Inu. She’s a highly aggressive dog, but also very protective and caring.

    And, so far, I ended up looking up “no kill” shelters in the county here. I called and was told that her mutilating both sides of her nose on the cage were (somehow) NOT covered under animal cruelty or abuse (shocked!). It looks terrible, and yet they said because she is doing it to herself, it’s not considered either. WTH? It is indirect, and it is because of her owner, and because she is terrified and panicking in her cage; and yet, because of who’s committing the action, it’s not animal cruelty or abuse … ummm okay. So only he can take care of this, I’ve been told; and he won’t. He has to willingly come in and surrender her with his own photo ID and signature and stuff. She will not be accepted into the shelter if I try to do so. I was also told that this is a “civil matter,” and that it’s on me because I chose to let the dog stay there … great … I have learned, sadly, that being nice hardly ever pays. This isn’t the first time I’ve ended up in a weird position because of not wanting to say no to someone I knew in need. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    • Taurwen says:

      [As Res pointed out, I have no idea how this guy will react to anything so take what I have to say with a grain of salt. It might NOT be in your best interest.

      That being said. Where I’m from Shiba Inu are highly sought after and expensive. Even one with no training (And they seem so bad when untrained because they are so damn smart. With the proper mental and physical stimulation she’d probably be a great pet) would be easy to sell.

      However, then you are on the line for stealing Steve’s property. Maybe you should see if you can find any Shiba Inus on craigslist/kijiji/whatever and then tell your ex how much you could get for his pet, and how you could consider that his rent for the rest of the month.

      Again that’s merely a suggestion. I don’t know how Steve would react. It could be a horrible horrible idea.

    • resullins says:

      [Oh Lord… we’ve all been in the situation where the inability to say NO gets us in a lot of trouble.

      The thing is that now you need to take control of this situation. You have people depending on you, and you need to do better by all of them.

      Well done looking into the shelters, and I’m sorry they can’t do more. You’re going to have to rely on Steve to do something with the dog. Tell him that neither of them are welcome in the house. Get them out. Do whatever you need to do to take control of your life.

      Also, I’m from the country, too… my dog roams the woods most of the day, but letting him loose to fend for himself is still a bad idea. They’re still domesticated animals… just remember that.

    • Taurwen says:

      [You should make sure your ex puts polysporin or something on her nose. It’s bad enough now but if it gets infected it’ll be 100x worse.

  9. Dennis Hong says:

    [Here’s some more info for you, from my friend:

    I def recommend reaching out to breed-specific rescues then. I know that she has mentioned already that she can’t surrender the dog to the shelter since she’s not an owner, although there’s nothing to keep her from “giving” the dog to a friend who can then take it to the shelter and claim that he found it. If the dog isn’t chipped, all the better. If the owner looks for the dog, that’s a diff story. But otherwise, try breed-specific rescues. Shiba Inus are a special breed; while they’re highly intelligent, they also respond well to an experienced owner who provides them with consistent training. And while they’re not usualy in the top 10 of most popular breeds (they can be bull-headed), their relative rarity means that breed-specific rescues aren’t inundated with intake requests like shelters and mixed-breed groups are. If she can convince the owner to give him up, she can try contacting breed-specific groups, and if she’s willing to travel a bit, I’m sure she’ll find one. She can start here:

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