General Non-Fiction posted June 30, 2022

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Through the fence

by Wendy G

I am upset, and a little shaken.

I have for a long time been distressed that every time I go into my backyard, whether to put washing on the line, to work in the garden, or simply to sit in the sun, the two dogs from the house behind us whimper, howl and cry.

They are big; one is an Alsatian and the other a Staffordshire bull terrier. I know they are lonely for company. I talk to them quietly and assure them of my care, as their owners seem to neglect them completely. They have never to my knowledge been taken for a walk. There are times I am so close to tears from hearing their distress that I go back inside.

They also throw themselves at the back fence, two metres high, (well over six feet), and I had noticed a few dents from their weight. This morning I had friends in my living room, and Sunny was lying by my side. He gave a very low growl, looking towards the back veranda. When I went to check, these two massive dogs were pacing up and down the veranda.

They had broken the fence – a gaping hole eighty centimetres wide allowed them free access to our yard. They drank all the water from Sunny's large outside bowl. Did they not have access to water at their place? They circled the side yards as well as the back area. Fortunately all the fences are high. If they had escaped over the side fences to the street they could attack any passersby, including children from the nearby school.

Did they want to attack? Or did they just want to escape? Or did they just want company? When dogs have been neglected, I take no chances.

I was so thankful I was at home, and that Sunny was not wandering around the back garden by himself. He has a small doggy door, which allows him to go out and in freely – but he may not have had time to get back inside safely. Fortunately those two can't fit through the doggy door.

I had to close the blinds as well as the doors, and close off Sunny's access door, to stop them barking and growling at Sunny and us inside. When my friends left, I went around to speak with the owners. Not at home - both parents were at work. The teenage girl and her boyfriend were there, looking after the little ones, who were not at school today. I explained the situation – they were oblivious, of course. They said they would call the dogs back, and keep them inside. And use the taser if necessary! They would use a taser on their dogs?!

I said that the fence would have to be fixed immediately so our dog can use his backyard – and so that I can use the backyard. We are locked inside with the blinds drawn, and I take Sunny out to the front garden every couple of hours.

What are the odds of getting the fence fixed immediately? How many days will it take?

Yet the winter school holidays start tomorrow. I have six grandchildren who will be visiting and playing here. They range in age from fifteen years down to sixteen months. I need to have a safe back yard.

I am also wondering about reporting the situation to the RSPCA – and speaking of the neglect, and the use of a taser. I am afraid that if I do, they might remove the animals and, as it would be difficult to re-home them, they may be euthanized. This is not the fault of the dogs. It is neglect and mistreatment by humans. That would be even more distressing, if my report caused these poor dogs to die. If I don't report it, the neglect will continue and the poor dogs will not be treated any better.

I wish people would not get dogs if they don't have time, energy or love to offer them.



Each of these dogs would weigh approximately between 80 and 90 pounds (36 to 40 kg). Sunny weighs about 16 pounds (7kg).
Our fencing is Colorbond.
"Colorbond fencing material is steel. In its base, it has a steel core that resembles Zincalume and a top coat that is lead-free paint. While Zincalume is for the most part aluminium and zinc, this is not enough to say that Colorbond is aluminium.
By the way it is created, it is steel." (Colorbond website)

RSPCA: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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