UPDATE: Animal control officers finally located the owner of the property and plan to remove the dog today.
A dog has been trapped inside an abandoned townhouse for at least three weeks, presumably without food or water, in the soaring heat of summer – and animal control officers are legally unable to save him.
Allecia Gates walks her own dog in her Detroit neighborhood several times a day. Three weeks ago, she discovered a dog trapped inside a vacant townhouse after he chewed through the screen of a second story window and stuck his head out, barking.
When calls to police and animal control offered no assistance, she contacted FOX2 for help.
“I just feel real bad for the guy he’s going to jump out of there,” she said. “But he needs food, he needs water and he is using he bathroom in there and they smell him.”
Investigative reporters reached out to Detroit Animal Control who say there’s little they can do until the owner of the property is located.
Despite obvious signs the dog is abandoned, distressed, and neglected, animal control officers are not legally allowed to enter the home to rescue him.
Doing what she can to help, Gates began searching through public records and believes she located the owner of the property. However, she says they denied owning the townhome.
Besides the cruelty and suffering the dog is enduring being trapped without food, water, and fresh air, Gates is concerned the dog will eventually jump from the window to escape.
Neighbor Mary Forest, who resides right next door, said, “Look how he is and he’s about ready to jump out of there. If he jumps out of course he is going to be angry and hungry. And you never know what is going to happen.”
How is it possible that rescuers are unable to save a dog that’s clearly abandoned and in distress? Laws that label animals as simple property, instead of sentient, living, breathing, and feeling beings has left them with little to no legal rights to help.
Until these laws are changed, dogs will continue to suffer.