Every year when winter arrives, the Mobile SPCA is contacted about tethered dogs being left outside in the cold. Here are some things you should know.
Only the POLICE and ANIMAL CONTROL at the municipal shelter that serves the area where the dog is located have the legal authority to investigate neglect/abuse reports. Without the involvement of law enforcement, the Mobile SPCA cannot assist on private property so as much as we would like to help, we simply cannot be your first contact for help.
THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
Call 311 or 208-2800 during the day, or call the police department at 208-7211 any time the shelter is closed. The City Shelter told 311 and MPD that during this cold weather any call to check conditions on dogs with no shelter will be dispatched immediately.
Local Municipal Shelter Phone Numbers:
Saraland Animal Control – (251) 679-5570
Mobile County Animal Shelter – (251) 574-3647
City of Mobile Animal Shelter – (251) 208-2800
Prichard Animal Shelter – (251) 456-5399
A citizen residing in Dauphin Island, Satsuma, Chickasaw, Mount Vernon, Creola, or Semmes needs to contact their local Police Department or enforcement agency. Mobile County Animal Control has no authority to enter and enforce any laws within these municipalities unless they request assistance through the Mobile County Commission to deal with their animal issues. If you can’t get the appropriate police department to answer, and the animal is sick or injured, Mobile County Animal Control MAY take it, but as these cities have their own Animal Control departments, you will be charged a drop off fee.
Dauphin Island Police Department — (251) 861-5523
Satsuma Police Department — (251) 675-0151
Chickasaw Police Department — (251) 452-0571
Mount Vernon Police Department — (251) 829-6631
Creola Police Department — (251) 675-8145
Semmes Police Department — (251) 574-8040
If you take these steps but you know that no one responded, PLEASE CALL AGAIN! Continue to call until you know that the situation has been investigated.
NOTE: While the situation may be frustrating, please remember to be polite to authorities when you speak to them. They are after all on our side and want to help not only us but the animals.
Sometimes you may feel that no one showed up but that may not be the case. Just because you didn’t see AC or the police at your neighbor’s house does not mean they weren’t there. It’s possible they investigated but found no cause. Unfortunately, we must all work within the confines of the law. Simply because you or I think an animal is being neglected or abused does not mean it is an enforceable offense. Our laws state very clearly that a tethered dog must have access to water, food and shelter. I am positive that my idea of adequate shelter does not match what many believe is. But until such time as our laws are changed for the better, that’s what we’ve got to work with.
If you have contacted the proper authorities but you feel confident they have not responded to your request, THEN please send a private message to the Mobile SPCA’s FB page or email us at email@example.com with the following information:
When you called (date and time), who you spoke to (name), and the address of the dog you think is in peril. If you can safely take a photo or get a video supporting what you believe to be neglect or abuse, include that as well because that is VERY HELPFUL. Our staff will then contact the people to whom you spoke, provide them with any additional information you may have (including photos/videos), attempt to follow up with them, and relay whatever information we receive back to you.
But it all starts with YOU! Contact the proper authorities, follow up with them until you believe they have responded, get proof if possible, and then contact us if the dog is still in danger.
Thank you for always speaking up for those innocent creatures who have no voice to protect themselves.