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Feeding the Strays

This is a forum to discuss legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of dogs. Please remember to counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice and responses.

  
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Rigby

Dingbat
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 7:27am PST 
My boyfriend and I moved into an apartment about 2 months ago.
We are ground floor, but don't have direct access outside, we have to go through the building.

Our landlord graciously accepted the dogs here. The only request he made was that we use the side door when taking the dogs out opposed to the front.
This side door takes us to a parking lot that is owned by another building and leads to a patch of grass, and a large park beyond that on the other side of the fence.

This was great in the beginning. Lots of space for the dogs to play, and an area where they could get some off-leash time.
The thing is, someone is leaving food for stray cats/wildlife. But they're not just leaving it in a dish or one area, it's spread across the entire parking lot and the grassed area.

I've seen everything from mushrooms, shrimp, hot dogs, peanuts, and worst of all, cooked beef bones.

I do my best to keep the dogs from accessing these foods, but Rigby is a scavenger. It's a habit I haven't been able to break her of from her days of being stray.

We suspect that it may be my landlords wife, or her friend. As they are always sitting out in the garage that faces this parking lot, and feeding stray cats. They have even set up a trailer for the cats to live in for the winter. But we have not seen them actually do it.
I met the woman who puts out the peanuts, but she assured me she only put out peanuts. Which doesn't bother me, as Rig doesn't touch them.

I spent the past few nights taking Rigby out every 2 hours as she ate a 3 inch long bone (passed it thankfully), and got diarrhea as a result. She is fine now, but it was a scare.

I've contacted the local Animal Services, and have gotten no response.
I also contacted the property management and they said they would "look into it immediately." I provided them with photos but the food still shows up nearly every night.

I'm at a loss of what to do, short of carrying Rigby (and risk getting peed on because of her weak bladder) across this area.
I don't want to cause issues with the landlord, and I'm sure that's exactly what will happen if I say anything.

shrug
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Opheila

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 9:16am PST 
I don't know what the trailer looks like-size and entryways and stuff. aI wonder if somehow helping the strays could be a group project? If the trailer is big enough maybe a babygate or even boards can block the doors against anything bigger than cat sized...space on the bottom for the cats to come and go. Then the food can stay in the trailer as a safe feeding station.
Perhaps you can coordinate a group of the neighbors to help the cats and it might help the food on the ground problem?
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 9:54am PST 
How about trying a muzzle? That might give you some peace of mind. The sort made for anti barking maybe that wraps across the snout, or a thick plastic one with air holes.
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 10:53am PST 
How about trying a muzzle? That might give you some peace of mind. The sort made for anti barking maybe that wraps across the snout, or a thick plastic one with air holes.
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Rigby

Dingbat
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 6:03am PST 
The trailer is sort of long and flat. They put a custom made roof on the top so it's about 1.5 feet high, the only opening is a small cut on the side.
As far as I've seen, the cats don't use it.

It's sort of difficult to explain exactly how the layout is.
The side door is a little below ground level, so to get out, we turn to the right and walk up a few steps. At the right of these steps is the garage where they hang out.

Then we turn left and cut across a small alleyway to the other parking lot. Directly across from the garage in the alleyway is the trailer.
The other parking lot is raised a bit more, and there is a fence which separates the alleyway from the parking lot. We have to walk the length of that fence to get to our grassed area.

If they could keep all their food at the base of this trailer, I would have no problems. There's lots of space there for it, but they're choosing to spread it right across the higher parking lot. Sometimes I will kick it all down there, but my boyfriend thinks that will cause issues as well.

I'm also concerned about the potential for rats and mice. Especially this time of year. I don't have a problem with the pet rats/mice, but I certainly don't want loose vermin in my building...

I've seriously considered using the muzzle. She's worn one before but she shut down. Simply lay on the ground shivering and whining. I'm sure that's workable but It would just be unfortunate as she's been doing so well in disc work lately. If it means the difference between her safety and potential death though, I will do anything.
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 6:45am PST 
I'm sorry she's scared of her muzzle. frown If it really is too much for her, I would just carry her like you have been doing.

I hope AC does something, that's just a ridiculous situation.
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Rigby

Dingbat
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 7:03am PST 
We live in an area that's basically very low-income, and all either apartment buildings or complexes. I think the majority of these cats were pets that were simply ditched when the owners moved. So people take it as their duty to care for them outside.

I worry about the cats too. Winter is coming and soon it will likely be cold and harsh out.
At first they allowed one of these cats to live in our stair wells. That one I don't mind. He's clean and good natured, and loves dogs.

Now we've got a second one inside. A little more feral than the first. Stunning gorgeous eyes on him, but just not as trusted. This concerns me as well because what if he's got a disease and scratches one of my dogs? It's becoming pretty hostile.

Once I finish school, I hope to move to a nicer area. But for now this is what I can afford sadly.
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 2:39pm PST 
I would definitely try to teach her to wear a muzzle, and work on her "leave it."

Unfortunately it doesn't sound like there's anything illegal going on here. Just disgustingly unsanitary. You may be able to get them on some kind of illegal dumping/uninspected structure charges, but unless there's no way to trace the complaint to you, you'll certainly stir the pot. If specific animals are ill, you could have animal control pick them up as neglected, but again, unless you're anonymous AND can prove some sort of ownership, nothing will really come of it (save help for the individual animal).

In any case, I emphasize - my MIL, who I am currently forced to live with, thinks it's acceptable to fling rotting produce out the kitchen door "for the birds." Pointing out that birds don't eat produce and that we're literally living in rotting garbage with a chemo patient has not made a difference. I've tackled this from every angle I can think of, and nothing helps. It's like there's an irrational psychosis involved in feeding stray and feral animals.

If you do end up with vermin indoors (you probably already do, FWIW), your landlord has to do something about it. At least in CT, by law they must call a professional exterminator. Of course then you'll have to deal with rat traps, but the exterminator will certainly get on their case about having garbage everywhere.

It's just the curse of renting with animals. You can't really escape it, unless you find something super high-end.
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Rigby

Dingbat
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 17, '12 3:37am PST 
I just don't understand how someone doesn't realize that cooked bones are typically bad for most animals. And how spreading near compost across a lot where people walk and park their cars isn't considered disgusting to them shrug

We live in a small building, about 13 units, so if I do say anything even anonymously it will likely get traced back to me sadly.

Her leave it is improving greatly, but my issue is when it's dark or I can't see the food. When I see it, I can avoid it with walking around or "leave it" but she can be quite sneaky.


I was sort of hoping that my landlord would happen to come across me when Rigby was spending the night at my parents (My mother enjoys taking them because she misses them as hiking companions). As much as I dislike lying, I would have fabricated a story of how she's sick and staying at the vet from eating something that she must have found out back. It could have happened shrug We were just very lucky that it didn't.

I was thinking of maybe posting a sign and/or leaving some dishes along the side of the fence that simply says "please leave food here instead of on ground" nothing accusatory or impolite.
That way I, and the others who I'm sure go that way as well, can avoid it.

Not sure if that would be a good idea or not. I doubt it would work too well...
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Rigby

Dingbat
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 17, '12 4:24am PST 
There was a pile of pasta dumped in the grassy area this morning. Looked like styrofoam to me in the dark, but Rig knew what it was.

I will have a muzzle for her by the time I come home from work tonight. At this point I'd rather her be upset than sick from this junk.

I really do not understand this urge to dump compost and attract vermin shrug
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