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Citizens in Ft. White, Florida concerned for senior dog's safety

Ft White dog sentenced to spend life chained to a tree
Ft White dog sentenced to spend life chained to a tree
Diane Marchand

We often wonder what possesses people to get a dog only to keep it tied up in a backyard with little to no human contact. Dogs are very social animals and condemning them to a life of loneliness at the end of a chain is nothing more than torture.

Citizens in Fort White, Florida have aligned themselves with local rescue groups to try and get some relief for a dog who appears to be the victim of gross neglect at his home on SW Palawan Glen. The dog lives lives chained to a tree with a plastic kennel crate but no blankets and is left out there in inclement weather including excessive hot and cold temperatures.

Concerned citizens have been calling Lake City Humane Society since January 2014 reporting the horrible conditions the dog is forced to live in. According to the neighbor, the dog’s owner he has done nothing to improve the dog’s life at all since the first complaint was lodged. When directly asked why he does not take the dog indoors he replied he cannot since he has cats. When asked why he does not relinquish the dog to someone who will give him a better life he replied the dog belonged to his father who passed away so he feels obligated to keep the dog. So why does he not feel obligated to allow the dog to live comfortably?

Although dogs cannot voice their misery they often do this by acting out. Several times this poor dog has escaped his dirt prison and ran to a neighbor's garage. Unfortunately the neighbor could not keep the dog and unfortunately had to relinquish him back to the owner. The dog is an older dog, approximately 14 years of age and is stuck spending his senior years tied to a tree in a backyard.

Lake City Humane Society has been out to the house to check on the dog and to see where he was tied. When placing a call to Lake City Humane Society they advised the case was unfounded and they discovered no negligent conditions for this dog. The only thing the owner was cited for was not having a a record of rabies vaccinations for the dog.

Once again the dog escaped and was found cowering under the neighbor's truck not wanting to go back. The dog's owner has since tied him up in the woods with a collar and a harness to prevent further escapes.

So what we have here are two very contradictory perceptions on what is deemed adequate shelter and treatment of a dog. On one hand the local Humane Society finds the dog's living conditions okay. On the other hand, if the dog was happy and not suffering any physical or emotional neglect why does he keep escaping and hiding from his owner? Why does he look for shelter in a neighbor's garage and tremble in fear at the thought of going back to his own home? Something is clearly wrong here and until it is rectified one little dog will spend another 24+ more hours in misery.

Many people have come forward offering to take the dog but the owner refuses to give him up. Once again, why keep a dog if only to have it spend its life tied to a tree?

To contact Lake City Humane Society to see what further action can be taken to help this dog you can contact them via their website at http://www.lakecityhumane.org or via phone at 386 752 4702.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

We can only hope future generations will not judge us too harshly.