Is it considered animal abuse to leave a dog in a cage for 22 hours a day?

I know someone who got a dog just to please her kids, but the kids have asthma so the dog lives in a cage indoors so its hairs won’t get everywhere. Of course now the dog is an adult and the kids don’t care about it anymore, and the owner doesn’t have time for it either. To top it off it is a very hyper terrier, the kind that pees out of excitement.

The only time I know of that the dog leaves its cage is when the owner leaves it by itself tied to a rail outside early in the morning, where it goes to the bathroom and then starts barking because it’s alone. In the evening the owner begs off one of her relatives usually, to sit with the dog on a leash outside so it can go to the bathroom again. When it is outside like this you can tell the dog is brimming with excitement and dying to run around. Maybe once in a blue moon they will take it to a park or for an actual walk, but I can’t even remember when was the last time. The rest of the day and night it lives in a cage.

Would there be any actual basis to report this to the Humane Society or ASPCA? According to Florida law, not permitting an animal to get sufficient exercise is a misdemeanor. I’d like to at least be able to threaten the owner with this information so she will hopefully start acting like a responsible pet owner.

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7 Responses to “Is it considered animal abuse to leave a dog in a cage for 22 hours a day?”

  1. BMTHESPIAN says:

    If the dog is provided food, water, shelter, basic medical care and generally clean (as in not forced to lie in its own feces or urine and not horribly matted) and the crate is of sufficient size for the dog to lay down and stand comfortably then there is nothing illegal about it. Is it anywhere close to good pet ownership? No it isn’t but it is still not illegal. Typically the time out of the crate they are providing is likly going to be considered "sufficient exercise" under the law. Is is really sufficient exercise for a young terrier, no not at all, but what a responsible owner knows to be sufficient exercise for a breed and what the law considers sufficient are two very different things.

    If you are close enough to these people to know what goes on in there house 24/7 (since you know the dog is never let out of the crate unless you see it outside) then I would recommend talking to them about allowing you to help them find a more suitable home for the dog.

  2. Rivqah says:

    It is indeed abusive and cruel to do this to a dog. They have psychological requirements too and it is also, of course, very harmful to the dog’s health to be in a cage for this long. Keeping a dog in a cage 22 hours a day should immediately be reported to the ASPCA or to your local animal control officer. This dog needs to be rescued from whoever is doing this.

  3. E. H. Amos says:

    Would there be any actual basis to report this to the Humane Society or ASPCA? According to Florida law, not permitting an animal to get sufficient exercise is a misdemeanor.

    Well, if they live where there are such laws, yes. (You don’t indicate if they live in FL) just what the law is in that state re: dogs/exercise. You can simply try to check or call &/or ask the ASPCA. My question would be don’t you think you could make a good argument for placing/surrendering the dog to either a breed-specific rescue group or the local no-kill shelter, etc.?

    1) The kids have asthma & having a pet anywhere in the home can contribute to breathing problems/allergies.

    2) Cost of vet care, dog licenses & food, flea, heart worm treatment for this dog.

    3) The fact that the dog appears to be a burden (re; exercising & bath-rooming time) & neither they nor the dog is happy.

  4. ms manners says:

    Call Animal Control in your area and ask.

    Chances are that they will not act, since the dog is being fed and has shelter.

    If it were me, I would offer to take the dog, since they obviously are no longer interested in him.

  5. emonate15 says:

    dude, report them, would u want to be in that dogs position? that’s just cruel

  6. Blank-A-Billy-Girl says:

    I would report her immediately.

  7. greygarious says:

    Yes. One of the facts that persuaded a considerable majority of Massachusetts voters to enact a ban on greyhound racing that took effect last year was that at racing kennels, the dogs are crated for 22 hours a day. They are allowed out 4 times for potty breaks. When they are being trained, they get to sprint more often, but once they are being raced, they live in cages.

    It would be preferable to persuade the owner to give the dog up rather than calling in the authorities.
    Another argument to that end is that with a terrier, the frustration of prolonged confinement is likely to turn the dog into a biter.