Around 10:00 in the morning I was walking to the hardware store. I had to take the long way around, to avoid the new Pest.
There is a house on the corner, across from the hardware store. There is a 4′ tall iron fence, a newer one. There are often two very large unhappy dogs in this yard. The owner recently hung up some type of opaque privacy material on the fence. I don’t know dogs very well, and I particularly avoid large ones that do not seem well socialized. These dogs seem very reactive to people walking by, and other dogs. On my way to the store the dogs were really barking and braying, which was unusual even for them.
As I got closer, I saw a man rush across the street, holding a 4′ long skinny wood post, like from construction. He was shouting and swearing at the dogs, and was jabbing the post through the fence like a sword, attempting to hurt the dogs ! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – it was horrible. I started shouting at the man from across the street, asking him what the fuck he thought he was doing ? Then this dude turned around and started rushing towards me ! I didn’t know what to do. My only plan was to run across the street, through traffic, to the hardware store, if I had to. A small passenger van pulled up beside me as this was happening. The woman driver said she saw what had happened, and her passenger had, too. The creep rushed off down the main road. The woman gave me her number. I said I was going to report this to the police, and encouraged her to do so as well.
At the hardware store I asked if anything unusual had been happening across the street because the dogs were really upset, and described what I had just seen. The staff said they hadn’t seen or heard anything, not even the staff who work outside loading vehicles.
I made an online police report when I got home, and the witness, Wendy, phoned me. I attempted to make a cruelty to animals report, via the local shelter’s email, but this was returned to me and I was told to call a toll free #. I had to sit through interminable messages, then could only leave a message. This was frustrating.
I headed out later that afternoon, and spoke to a neighbour about what I had seen. She has a dog that she loves, so she was quite upset. She thought she knew which guy had done this, and walked with me. We encountered another neighbour, and told her what happened. She said that guy had been bothering the dogs just a few minutes prior, and had been shouting at them and throwing rocks – rocks bigger than a man’s fist ! and pieces of wood over the fence at them ! He had been hanging out in front of the Senior’s Center all day, using their outlet to charge his devices. He left a six pack of empties there on top of the plants he had crushed – new plants. There was an almost empty package of cigarettes there, with his crack pipe tucked neatly inside. We located him squatting behind the library, smoking crack. The library was closed for the the First Truth and Reconciliation Day. My neighbour approached a woman across the street from the library and asked to use her cel phone. We called 911 to report this animal abusing asshole, but the 911 operator didn’t have my report, since it was a non-emergency report, filed online. She said they would send someone, but that I was 156th in the queue.
No police showed up.
I went to the house with the dogs to tell them what happened. There was no vehicle in the driveway. I knocked in the morning, and we went later again that afternoon. No answer – and no sign of people anywhere.
Many people in the area have been concerned about the dogs – that they are left in a cement yard for many hours at a stretch, with no supervision. I have never seen anyone from that address play with them or interact with them in a friendly way. I have seen the woman who I think owns them walking them ONCE in over 4 years. There is a bucket of water in the backyard – and the back door to the house is left open. I guess they are supposed to protect the house from burglary ?
I didn’t see any blood on the ground by where the attack had happened. The neighbour with the dog IS friendly with the dogs, and spoke to them and pet them and there didn’t seem to be any injuries.
I didn’t know what else to do so I wrote the owners a brief note telling them what happened, the description of the abusive creep, and expressed my concern that the unsupervised dogs were no match for a weapon or poison, and reminding them that there were some very mentally ill and addicted people in the area. I couldn’t just put it in the mailbox – as that was completely locked – so I came prepared and taped it to the mailbox. There appeared to be a camera over the mailbox but none in the yard, overlooking the dogs.
I left my email address on the note but no one contacted me.
The next day an animal cruelty inspector phoned me back. Because of blahblah reason, this is administered through this not that government agency. I described what I had witnessed, but because I wasn’t the dogs’ owner, I couldn’t make a report ! I expressed concern about the dog’s situation, but because they “looked healthy” (as per my non-dog person guess) and there is water and “access to shelter” (ie open back door) and the yard is reasonably clean, there is no grounds for an investigation !
I went to the Senior’s Center to speak with the staff, and they knew exactly the guy I described. He had been hanging around and was belligerent and difficult. They were appalled by my description of the attack on the dogs, however. Two staff members expressed concern about the dogs as well, and had also attempted to contact…someone…to intervene on behalf of the dogs, but since no law was being violated as per existing codes, those dogs are doomed to spend a portion of their life, sitting upset and vulnerable in that yard for many hours a day.
The owner only seems to spend some time in this semi-vacant property – so what the rationale for owning it at all is perplexing.
I’m sorry dogs. Short of a sympathetic dog person stealing them, there is nothing anyone can (legally) do to help them. I can hear the dogs outside from a block away – if their people read my letter at all they completely ignored it.
Meanwhile this abusive, hallucinating, dangerous creep remains at large.
There’s hundreds who look like him – white male, 35 years+, maybe 5’9″ +/-, dark hairline receeded to the back of his head, missing teeth in the front. Crack user, talking to himself, should be considered more violent than most.