Folks in Limestone County are concerned about the living conditions of some pets in their neighborhood.
An anonymous viewer sent WAAY 31 a picture, showing a dog tethered and surrounded by water at a home on Pepper Farm Lane in Elkmont.
WAAY 31 went out to check on that dog, and we spoke to animal control officers about what can be done in these types of situations.
We also spoke with people who believe their neighbor's dogs aren't being properly cared for.
“I just feel bad for these dogs. I’ve got dogs and I can imagine if they were mine," One man said. "Part of having a dog is taking care of it, and if you can’t even take it some covers, something’s got to be done.”
That man didn’t want to be identified, but he doesn’t live far from a home where many neighbors have been keeping an eye on the homeowner's dogs.
This comes after someone snapped a picture of one of the homeowner's dogs surrounded by water after a pipe burst and posted that picture on social media.
Luckily, when WAAY 31 checked on the dog on Thursday, that was no longer the case. That's because Limestone County Animal Control officers responded to the home and moved the dog away from the water.
Still, folks are upset about the animals’ living conditions.
“Seeing them physically tangled up. They chew their cords off to go get food and they tear trash out," a neighbor said. "So, any time we can, we try to give them some food or something. But somebody is always stopping by to untangle these dogs.”
And it’s not just the tangling and the lack of food that the man says he’s worried about.
“With the weather we’ve been having, it’s been awful for them," he said.
In fact, one woman came by and left pine shavings and a comforter for the dogs.
“I got up this morning and drove by there and they’re still on the side of the road, and those poor dogs are freezing. And we’re expecting more rain tomorrow and all night.”
WAAY 31 spoke with Limestone County Animal Control officers who have responded to the home multiple times. They tell us the state law requires pets must have food, shelter, and water.
Because these particular dogs are being fed by neighbors, and they do have dog houses, Animal Control can’t take them away.
They also tell WAAY 31 there’s no current state law that requires pet owners to bring their animals inside during extreme weather. However, there is a rule of thumb.
“If you’re cold, your dog is probably also cold," Animal Control Deputy Gil Moore said. "And if your dog dies from freezing, then animal cruelty charges could be brought.”
In the meantime, neighbors and animal lovers just want to see some changes.
“There’s nothing you can do. All you can do is just sit back and watch," one man said. "I just hope that either she comes around or somebody does the right thing for the animals. One or the other will happen soon, I’ve got a feeling.”
Although Limestone County Animal Control officers have responded to the home on Pepper Farm Lane several times, they tell WAAY 31 there have been no signs that the dogs are malnourished.
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