Woman: Neighbor's Dogs Left Outside With No Water, Shelter


by Morgan Fogarty
Bio | Email | Follow: @morganfogarty by Photographer Adam Stevens

GASTONIA, N.C. - Yvonne Howland says when she walked into her backyard Thursday, she knew something was wrong right away.  "So I come (sic) back here and...she was gone," says Howland.  The neighbor's chained dog had jumped the fence and seemingly hanged itself.

For Howland, this was no unfortunate accident.  She says the dog jumped into her yard to get water, water that Howland says, the dogs' owner rarely provides.  She's worried about two remaining chained up animals.  One has a dog house, but no shade.  The bowls near her were bone dry.  Another has shade, but we didn't see any bowls near him.

"My main concern is the water that the dogs don't have and obviously their shelter," she says.  When Howland discovered the dead dog, she repeatedly called Gaston County Animal Control.  The first time, she says she was on hold for 12 minutes before the call disconnected.  She says, "The next time I was on hold for 19 minutes and no one answered."

WCCB News anchor Morgan Fogarty asked Animal Control supervisor Steven Hay, "Is that acceptable in your opinion?"  Hay says, "No, nothing more than five or ten minutes is acceptable by our standards."  Hay says there was only one operator on duty Thursday.  He has since contacted Howland.

Hay says Gaston County allows certain tethering, but mandates that animals have food, water at all times and shelter.  "Not only shelter, but to provide shaded spots, too. Even though an animal may be provided a dog house, if it's out in the  middle of the sunlight, 95 degrees, it's gonna be 120 degrees in that house. So they need to have some sort of shade so it doesn't suffer heat stroke."

Failure to provide food, water and shelter can result in civil or criminal charges or jail time.  Howland just wants this: "Be a little bit more humane."

WCCB News spoke with the man who owns the dogs.  He says he gives them water "every other day" and, "To me, the dogs are healthy."  Animal control is investigating.

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