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Much needed advice on a neglectful pet owner

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MorningGloria

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Warning, this is a long one...

A little bit of backstory: I was planning on purchasing a home and ended my current lease, but at the last minute found out I was accepted into an internship program out of state, but it doesn't start until the summer. So I was able to stop the purchase of the new home, but was unable to get back into my old, basically leaving me homeless. My friends had an open room and invited me to stay as long as I needed. So now I've been living here about a month and a half and I've had a few minor issues, but nothing that I can't live with. One thing though that I just can't shake is the way the one roommate treats her animals. She has one cat, one dog, one conure, one senegal, 4 parakeets and a betta.

The cat's litter box has been changed only once and it reeks. Unfortunately the cat is the best kept of the bunch as he is at least fed and petted regularly.

The dog is kept on a leash tied to the table. She claims it's because he pees all over the house, but he's a puppy and he's only allowed to go out twice a day nearly 12 hours apart and only for 4 or 5 minutes. She doesn't work so there is no reason why she can't take him out more often or for longer periods. He's a minpin with lots of energy but is kept on a 3 foot leash during the day and a dog crate (the traveling kind that you keep cats in, he can't even stand up or move around) all night. He chews through his leashes and nearly chokes himself trying to move around and is constantly getting tangled in the chairs leaving him with less than a foot of lead. His water and food is limited to prevent accidents but since he's still so underwalked, he often poops or pees in his crate and then is left all night to sit in it until she sees it and the morning and yells at him :(

The birds have NEVER had their cages changed or cleaned since I've been here. The cages were disgusting when I got here so to go an additional month is just beyond belief. They rarely, if ever, get fed and it's usually the other roommate (not the owner) that does it. Once I realized this issue I've been trying to make sure at least all of their basic needs are met. I feed them and change their water and try to give them attention when I can, but with a full time job I've been working overtime with and a bird of my own to care for I just don't have the time to give them the full care they all need. The birds literally have 2 or 3 toys per cage and they are half chewed and dirty and never get changed out or even moved around. She claims it's because they don't like toys, but if you had to stare at the same thing for months you'd get tired of it too. I know for a fact the Sennie likes toys because I give her some of Archys and she goes nuts. The poor conure has gone so long without contact that he's not tame. He talks and says thank you and gets along great with my conure, but when it comes to humans trying to take him out or touch him he doesn't know what to do. It's so unfamiliar to him.

I've tried to bring this to her attention but it's one excuse after another. Even the other roommate who realizes there is an issue will make excuses. She takes in animals and gives them up like it's nothing. I've offered to help find a home for all of them, but she's shocked that I would even suggest it. It's really hard to watch. She sits on the computer alllll day while the dog barks to go outside and the birds have empty food and disgusting water dishes. I'm doing everything I can for them now, and I know in about a month I'll have a lot more free time to give them more attention, but I'm concerned about what will happen when I'm gone. They will survive thanks to the other roommate, but they will live miserably.

We all know how lax animal cruelty laws are so I don't think I can report her to anyone as she hasn't technically broken any that she can't easily excuse away. I do like her as a friend because believe it or not she's a very caring person but the lack of care for her animals is reprehensible. I just don't know what to do...
 

piercesdesigns

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Celeste, I wish I knew what to tell you. I am living with abuse of animals in my home too. Only in my case it is my stepdaughter. I just this weekend found a home for one pet. I am working on the others.

Can you put a puppy training for dummies book on her bed?

Lord, this all just breaks my heart.
 

J*M*L

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Glad you bumped it up, I hadn't seen this! There is probably nothing you can say to someone like that to help matters. I'm sure she isn't a bad person, but some people just don't know any better. Just keep caring for those pets in her presence and maybe she'll learn by watching you. Maybe when you leave, you can tell her you've become attached to them and she'll let you take some of them with you...
 

MorningGloria

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Thanks for your responses :hug8:

Debbie-
I remember reading about your stepdaughter in another thread. That's kind of what prompted me to really try to seek help with it.

Unfortunately I can't say this is ignorance. She knows what she's doing is not right because she lies to my face about it (oh, she must've dumped her food over! oh, I took the dog out for an hour! oh, the cage/litter *JUST* slipped my mind! I've been so busy I'll get right to it -meanwhile it stays the same) I'm not sure if it's illness or if it's sheer laziness, but there's just something that's... off.

I was thinking about looking for homes for them, but I'm afraid she'll just replace them with more. She's like a kid in that she sees something shiny and new and is all over it for a day or two and then completely loses interest. She's banned from adopting animals from the shelters because of the number she's given up. She just bought the dog a few months ago. BOUGHT. She paid like $800 for it and had to save up to do so.

The only thing I can think of is severe depression. She doesn't *seem* sad, but she's clearly latching on to whatever she thinks can give her a thrill and when it doesn't she moves on.

Maybe I should have a heart to heart convo or stage some sort of intervention? I care and I'm very concerned, but I'm terrible with emotions and can come off rather cold. I don't even know how to approach something like that. :confused:
 

feebee

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hey if she is on the computer heaps, maybe send her this way? might want this post deleted first, but you can say look at all these people with many animals, you can share some of your stories with them! :)
 

LuvMyBirds

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I have no suggestions for you but just wanted to send a big hug ~ :hug8:
 

liltweets

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How sad. :( I think you are doing the best you can, showing her by example. If she's not going to take care of them properly I wish she would just find them homes with someone that would. She knows better but won't do better. Ohhhh, that makes me mad. :mad:
 

Ede-bird

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That is so hard - I don't have any bright ideas - I have a pretty short fuse where animal abuse is concerned - the one time I didn't step in was something I will never forgive myself for. Call the pound, call the SPCA, hide them and say that they ran away...like I said nothing helpful...but know that everyone is here for you what ever you do:hug8:
 

atvchick95

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I didn't even know you could be banned from an animal shelter

what she needs is the sense knocked in to her..... I highly doubt it is any form of depression - my reason is because I live in a constant state of depression, I get mad when I wake up! because I have to live another crappy day

my animals and kids are WELL taken care of, I may not be..... BUT THEY ARE

she on the other hand is nothing less than LAZY

and you can turn her in...... that dog alone is enough it is animal abuse to keep a dog chained/tied to a table!

and if I lived there she would of been turned in on day one..... Stupidity , laziness, or not it is uncalled for she is a adult and she knows better! the other room mate needs slapped too for making excuses for this one!

If you don't feel comfortable turning her in since you do have to live there- Find a friend/neighbor - but i do believe most times it is done anonymously

other wise all i can tell you is Walk the dog when your home, Scrub the nasty cages, make em' some toys and tell her this is how it is done and to be done weekly (for the birds not walking the dog) Feed them 2 times a day change the water every time it is needed .. same with the dog and for the love of god UNTIE IT! and clean the cats box

and then tell her the next time ANY of the cages, litter box or the dog get tied to anything again She'll find the cage /litter mess in her bed. and she will be tied to the bed So she can see how it feels to be tied down in a bed of filth and see how she likes it

she doesn't seem like the type of person that talking sense into her is going to do much good if any.

she needs to be taken to court and banned on owning any animals ever- and they do do that ! once your banned from owning a animal when caught owning one you get sever fines and lots of jail time..... so not worth it in the end to go against a court ordered pet banning
 

~birdybea~

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I have a friend that neglects her lovebird, if it wasn't for her sister (also my friend) cleaning the cage, changing the water and topping up the food that bird would be dead by now i think. :(

When i've looked after the little guy i've scrubbed the cage so that it's sparkly clean (rather than caked in inches of faeces), and there is NO WAY that can't be noticed, but everytime i get him back the cage is horrible again. I just don't understand the lack of care that some people so towards animals.
 

Oknuma

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what a horrid situation for those animals and for yourself :( I would certainly be starting with the spca or whatever your animal welfare equivalent there is. I know you said the laws are pretty lax but its a place to start
 

Jacob

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I agree with Kelli. You need to untie that puppy and tell her that the reason he pees and poops inside is because a puppy can't hold it for 12 hours. I would complain about the litter box not being cleaned, the house must smell from it. This is a tough situation, you don't want to rock the boat since you have to live with her but at the same time she needs some sense knocked into her. I have a habit of speaking my mind with people and am usually fairly blunt. So I would have probably opened up my big fat mouth and said something.
 

Renae

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I only very thoroughly read through the replies so I am sorry if someone's mentioned this already..

There's no excuse for what she's doing, when you buy an animal, you're buying it and agreeing to care for it, feed it, give it water and etc etc. I agree with letting the puppy off, the poor thing probably hasn't had a chance (from the sounds of it) to be able to be trained, or it's simply that she's too lazy to do so - she shouldn't have the puppy if she isn't going to care for it, end of.

As for the cat, same thing. It can easily be litter trained, OR keep it outside.

You shouldn't have to, but is there any chance you could help her out, help her litter train the cat, train the dog, change the birds cages and whatever else. It is pathetic that if it came to it you helped her, but maybe when she starts having some help she'll realize what comes with owning animals, they're not something you should have for the heck of it.
 

Artagiel

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I was in a similar situation when I left my husband. I wasn't able to do much while I was there but I did what I could, walked the dog, played with her bird and took him to the vet, fed him fresh foods at the same time as Noodle. You are in a tough situation because you are in need of the roof over your head.

I was able to slightly improve the living situation after doing things for her bird and I think she started to feel guilt over not having done it herself, of course there were a lot of excuses.

I don't know if there is noise or smell from the place, perhaps ask the neighbors when you leave to report her for animal cruelty? Or report yourself when you go? The laws are really lax and it is really depressing how little can be done in cases like this.
 

MorningGloria

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and for the love of god UNTIE IT! and clean the cats box

and then tell her the next time ANY of the cages, litter box or the dog get tied to anything again She'll find the cage /litter mess in her bed. and she will be tied to the bed So she can see how it feels to be tied down in a bed of filth and see how she likes it

ROFL :rofl::rofl: You're a total firecracker, I love it! You seriously had me rolling.

And yes, I don't know if it's a local thing, but Montgomery County will take a copy of your license when you give up the animal. I'm not sure if they ban you the first time, but she's given up at least 4 cats at seperate times, I'm not sure what else.

It seems like mostly everyone is suggesting reporting or really confronting her? I don't really have a problem turning her in if I think good will come of it, but if nothing will happen and I've put myself out there, well that sucks. With the dog it's one person's word against another's. I just don't see a way I can prove what is going on. She can easily say it's temporary if I take a picture or that I am lying and put him there myself. However, we live in an apartment and I'm pretty sure she's not paying any pet deposits or fees. I can work that angle. He's a sweet, very smart purebreed less than a year old so I'm sure it'll be easy to find him another home.

I have pictures of the cages and litter box from when I first moved in. I think I even took a picture of the moldy (yes, moldy!!) water. I'll ask our humane society if there is anything they can do. It'll be more difficult to place those animals though. The cat is full grown and very skittish, the sennie is a sweetheart she may be okay but the conure needs someone with a lot of experience. He's also sweet, he's just not used to being handled. The keets are all pretty young so I think they should be okay too.

I'll have a real/no bs talk with her and if she responds with more of the same I'll get started on making a claim for animal abuse.

Thanks a lot guys for all the suggestions. I guess I kind of knew what I needed to do, I just really needed the push and confirmation.
 
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MorningGloria

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I was in a similar situation when I left my husband. I wasn't able to do much while I was there but I did what I could, walked the dog, played with her bird and took him to the vet, fed him fresh foods at the same time as Noodle. You are in a tough situation because you are in need of the roof over your head.

I was able to slightly improve the living situation after doing things for her bird and I think she started to feel guilt over not having done it herself, of course there were a lot of excuses.
Oh yes I think I remember reading about this. You had a roommate that didn't give her bird fresh food and she insisted he didn't like it yet he would gobble it up when you sneaked it to him? I remember seeing the before and after pics. You did a great job with him. Did you ever come clean before you left?
 
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