Fredericksburg neighbors raise questions of animal neglect
Written by Michael Crowe, Multimedia Journalist - email
FREDERICKSBURG (KWWL) -
Authorities responded to a rural Fredericksburg property early Friday on suspicions of animal neglect. Neighbors reported the alleged neglect, and said they were concerned with the dogs' living conditions.
"It's time something gets done," neighbor Dale Miller said."It's cruelty to animals. You can see the shape the dogs are in."
Two dogs were present on Friday, both outside unattended.According to Miller, the home is vacant, and has been for some time. However, the Chickasaw County Sheriff's Office says the dogs are alright, which has leftMiller frustrated.
Seeking some perspective on the dogs' condition, KWWL showed footage of the animals to a local veterinarian. He said it's important to separate emotions in cases like this.
"Even though some of us look at that and go ‘I would never treat my animals that way,' it doesn't mean those animals are not being taken care of to what the law mandates," said Brad Kneeland, owner and veterinarian at Pawsitive Pet Care in Waterloo.
In assessing cases like this, Dr. Kneeland said he looks for several key things: do the animals have access to food and water? Do they have a way to escape the sun? And, if necessary, are they restrained from roaming free, and into possibly dangerous situations? Based on the footage he was shown, he said it might not be an ideal situation, but it appears their basic needs are being met.
"On the outside, on a quick view, it looks like it might be easy to jump to the conclusion that these dogs are either in an abandoned or abusive situation," he said.
He also noted that while the dogs are slim, they are not skinny enough for him to be immediately concerned of malnutrition.
The owner of the abandoned home and dogs was not able to be reached for comment, so at this point, it's unclear what will happen to these dogs. However, the Sheriff's Office has said that they'll continue to pursue the situation, and will require the owner to provide medical proof of the dogs health in the coming weeks.
In the end, Kneeland said it's important to remember that it could be much, much worse.
"This looks bad, but I've worked on bad," he stressed. "The differences are astronomical."
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