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Dog Outside & Unsupervised? It’s Risky!

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Fort Lauderdale Police Dept leaves gates open after searching for perpetrators

There are probably a few of you out there that leave your dog outside and unsupervised in a fenced yard, that will never have anything bad happen to your dog.  This article is not for you.  This article is for  every dog owner that has called me or will call me in the future because they leave their dog outside unsupervised in their fenced yard and something bad happens.  While I am totally opposed to dogs living outdoors, bad things can happen even when a dog is left unsupervised in a fenced yard only for a few minutes.

How many reasons do you need to NOT leave your dog outside and unsupervised, even for a few minutes, in a fenced yard?

1) The open gate.  If your gates are not locked, someone (lawn guy, pest control guy, law enforcement, etc) will leave it open when you least expect it.

2) The fence can be jumped or climbed.

3) There is a hole or another area that can be compromised with a little digging or squeezing through.

4) You cleverly put your dog on a chain or tether so she wouldn’t jump the fence, but gave her too much line.  You came back outside to a dog hanging death.

5) You tether your dog without enough lead to hang himself… BUT have made it aggressive because you did not keep him safe from things he may fear.  He is tethered so he cannot flee from frightening people or animals that are around when you are not looking.  Better lawyer up for the bite that’s in your future…

6) Bufo toads.  Click here if you don’t know about them.

7) Your dog is prey driven and will kill any animal that comes into his space.  Hey if you’re ok picking up the pieces and hiding the next door neighbor’s dead cat in your garbage bin.. rock on.

8) The great Evinrude theft of 1988.  I lived across the street from 3 dobermans and a boat with 3 Evinrude engines in South Miami.  One morning the Evinrudes disappeared and the dogs were found dead from poisoning.

9) Sicko people/sicko kids – They taunt, abuse, throw rocks at, beat, and steal unattended dogs.  Are you ok with that?  PS.  If you don’t know what happens to stolen dogs… WARNING- GRAPHIC PHOTO click here to learn about where bait dogs are obtained.

10) The next door neighbors that call animal control every time your dog makes just the smallest sound.  Have fun with those citations and interviews.

11) Poisonous plants.  Are you sure all of your plants are safe for dogs?

12) Destructive behavior – I have received countless calls about shredded outdoor furniture, ruined landscaping, and destructive digging so bad that it involved interruption of cable tv service.

13) For escape items 1-3 above… while roaming, your dog bites a child or another dog or gets caught killing a cat, another dog or a kid.  See #5  – better lawyer up and prepare to take responsibility for the death of another living creature.

14) The pool/canal.  Are you sure your dog knows how to get out safely if he falls in?  Is there a way out of your canal?  I’m not going to tell you about the condition of the bodies of dead animals that have floated to my dock because they fell off their dock and couldn’t swim to safety.

15) Other dogs and dangerous creatures.  What if an aggressive dog can get in your fence and kills your dog?  I’ve even read about a swarm of bees killing an unattended dog in the yard.

16) Stupid people (city employees from Hollywood, FL or ignorant landlords from Hollywood, FL)… they open the unlocked fence and walk into the yard and get bit.  See #5: lawyer up if you have any assets to lose.

17) Trigger happy law enforcement.  Haven’t you read the headlines?  A police officer responds to domestic violence call and kills the family pet because he went to the wrong address.

18)  Barking to be let back in the house with the family. If you are out there in the yard, your dog will have no need to bark to be with the family.  If you are ok with the barking, I hope your neighbors are ok with it too.  If not, see #10, annoying next door neighbors that call Animal Control.

19) Presents.  This is a continuation of #7, but instead of leaving the dead or maimed animal outside, your dog sneaks it back in the house.  A dead animal on your living room floor is one thing, but it gets really exciting if the animal is alive and flees somewhere in the house where you can’t find it.  It will come out and visit later.  Rats are real crowd pleasers.

20) Broward County Animal Care Fee Schedule.  Yes there are fines associated with your dog ending up at the shelter.  Add together an “at large” fine and the boarding fee, and then taking your dog to the veterinarian because he contracted kennel cough or something worse, it gets pretty pricey.  Oh and oops, did you forget to vaccinate or register your dog? – That’s $300 bucks!

It’s up to you what level of risk you are willing to take with your dog’s safety.  It’s important to know what can potentially happen to unsupervised dogs to make an educated decision about risk.


Written by dawnhanna

September 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm

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