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post #1 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know what to do

Hello and I apologize if I made this thread in the wrong area. I found this site through a random search and figured this is the perfect place to get help with my dilemma.

Soooo, here's the situation....... A "friend" (and I use that term as loosely as possible) has 4 dogs. A Dob, 2 pits and a husky. I fell in love with their Doberman, who is a 3 year old gigantic male, the first time I laid eyes on him. The more I would hang out over at their house, the more I realized that these animals were being neglected.

Soooo, long story short, they got kicked out of their house, asked if I could keep the Doberman for a while because they know how much I love him... I said okay... now I come to learn that his ears were clipped AT HOME.. WITH SCISSORS.. and his tail was cut with something I don't even want to imagine... again AT HOME while this poor guy was a puppy with no meds or anything. This is the coolest, sweetest dog in the world. He loves me just as much as I love him. He was skin and bone when they dropped him off. His dog kennel had a urine soaked blanket in it with about 6 inches of compact feces under that. He took to my wife and kids almost immediately. I can see how much he appreciates being here every time I look at him.

What am I going to do when they want him back? I want him to stay here. I DO NOT want him back in that house with those people.

I'm going to try to upload a picture. He is beautiful even with his butchered ears and tail. The thought of him leaving is killing me.

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post #2 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 10:11 PM
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Don't let them have him back. They might not want him back anyways, but even if they do...

I would take pics of EVERYTHING. His kennel, his body, his blanket. Just for documentation.


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post #3 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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I'm 6'2" btw. I don't know if it's normal for a male to be this big but his front legs are as long as my arms and while standing, his head comes up to my waist.
He is the biggest, most intimidating, most cuddly big sack of love I ever saw. Someone please give me advice.

I own my home in a nice middle class neighborhood. I have 2 daughters age 10 and 6. We have a nice yard for him and my parents have acreage and a possible dog friend for him to run around there with. Can't I claim him somehow? Legally?
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post #4 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for replying workingk9's. I wish I would have thought of that when he first got here. I was too upset at the kennel and spent a few hours cleaning it out. It still bothers me to the point that he's been here for almost 2 weeks now and has only spent 1 hour in it. My wife is a little upset because I've been sleeping with him on the couch in the den every night. I've been trying to give him the time of his life and the companionship he deserves but I just keep thinking that they're going to want him back soon and he'll be living hungry and in squalor again soon.
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post #5 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 10:27 PM
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Good questions for a lawyer..........especially if what you are saying is true the people that had him could be in big trouble.........have the law work for you and get everything in order pics, etc. Keep us informed on what happens..........
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post #6 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 11:09 PM
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Realistically, your best bet may be to very diplomatically approach his owner, tell them you know they are having a rough time of it and tell them your kids are very much enjoying having the dog in your family.

Tell them you don't need an answer right away, but you'd like them to consider you taking him on permanently. Present it as win-win to them, but do not make ultimatums.

Humans are funny animals and they may neglect, starve and abuse an animal or a kid, but as soon as someone else wants that animal (or kid) that is suddenly their most beloved possession on earth.

Make it low key, make it so it has a chance to become their idea, and keep all crossables crossed.

If you get a "no," and it's a solid "no," and you think there's no chance they'll change their mind, THEN try some legal routes, but whatever you do, don't threaten that or show your hand, prior to getting things in place. Since you don't have any documentation like pics (did you take him to the vet?) or witnesses, I assume, the legal route is going to be difficult to pursue.

What happened to the other three dogs, do you know?

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post #7 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 11:32 PM
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Is the dog mirco chipped or tat? We own dogs,they are property in most states, they need to prove ownership, do you have vet bills like updating his shots worming anything? I would check your state laws on this, and if you do get a lawyer, get one that does contractual law, as in some states verbal is a contract. Remember, one thing if you go this way your friendship is over but the dog will be taken care of by you. Most lawyers don't really get into this, so you must get one that does understand this. Sorry this is so long.
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post #8 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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No there is no documentation that I know of. The owner claims there to be AKC papers but who in the world would buy a pure bred dog just to hack up his ears and tail? I haven't taken him to the vet... yet. I didn't expect all of this to happen really. I've just been trying to "fatten" him up a little. He's already put on 10-15 pounds in the 2 weeks he's been here. The picture in my original post was taken today. You can still see his hip bones and ribs. He has red spots on his skin that are obviously bothering him from all the biting and scratching he does to himself. He has a couple of bald spots from the gnawing and I noticed a small white maggot looking thing in his poop this morning. I'm sure it was a worm of some sort but it was so tiny.. like a grain of rice. I have been taking pictures of him the past couple days. I want to document his progression weight wise and I guess just overall appearance in general.

Thank you all so very much for your suggestions. I will keep everybody updated.
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post #9 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 12:18 AM
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you should get him to the vet asap.

as for you keeping him i think you'd be doing the dobey a favor and your "friend" one too if someone was to see what was really going on at his home and report it surely the dogs would be removed and someone else might get to them before you.

i would keep track of the bills/expenses your spending on the dog just in case you do have to go the legal route.

before/after pics is key make sure theres dates on the pictures.

if i was in your shoes i would sit down with the original owners and talk to them make them feel like your family has become attached with the dog and you would like to take ownership even offer him some money if hes the type to take it.

just make sure what ever you do you have a formal written contract to protect yourself.

good luck.
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post #10 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 12:35 AM
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That rice like thing in his poop is tapeworms!!! Make sure you're cleaning up his feces in your yard. With tapes more than likely he has/had a flea infestation, he may have flea allergy dermatitis which would be the most common reason for the red, itchy, blotchy skin. I would get that dog to a vet What kind of food are you feeding him?? You don't want him gaining weight too fast, especially if it's low quality food that's bulking on weight with non digestible fiber fillers. A bonus to feeding a higher quality food is A) less poo B) you'll feed less food and C) it's just plain healthier for the dog

Now that I covered some of the health issues, RedFawnRising has the best suggestion as far as the owner issue goes. I would also mention to the owner some of the issues with the dogs skin/parasites and ask what vet they use...tell them you will take him to the vet for them and pay for it if they will reimburse you over a period of time. This way you can find out IF they have even ever taken the dog to a vet. If they say no to you taking him to the vet, then I would take him to a vet of your choosing and have the vet do an evaluation on the dog, note home ear cropping, overall health condition, teeth, etc. If you're serious about legally obtaining this dog then the vet's evaluation will only help your case.
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post #11 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 08:28 AM
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I agree with what has been said. You need to be documenting everything with time stamped photography and vet records. In case the worse case scenario plays out and they don't willfully allow the dog to stay with you, you'll have the ammo needed to fight it.

If they are as bad off financially as they seem to be, I can't imagine why they'd want the burden of a big dog much less multiple big dogs (I second the question - where are the others?). In your kind approach as you discuss how much your children/wife/self/dog have grown attached and how difficult you understand their situation to be, if you still sense a little resistance perhaps offer to "purchase" the dog from them. In that moment the money may be more important to them than the pup. Be sure they sign an agreement if they agree to sell him to you.

I hope it works out for you diplomatically and they don't fight you. In any case, please do not ever let him go back. You sound like you were meant for each other! Good luck!!
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post #12 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 08:49 AM
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If they need money, offer to buy the dog, that's another way to get him... Good for you for caring!!!!!
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post #13 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 08:55 AM
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I wont repeat what others have said.

I'll just add that I do hope you get to keep him, and allow him to live out the rest of his years in doggy paradise in comparison to his old home. Best of luck, sending positive thought-waves your way.

Gah, that crop and dock looks so bad... poor guy!

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post #14 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 08:55 AM
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I agree, get him to a vet. Sounds like he has tapeworm and his skin issues could possibly be mange. I would also have him checked for heartworm as well. Make sure also he is up to date on shots. At minimum, Rabies as it is required by law. Have the vet document his physical condition, even though it has improved, from your photo it is still apparent he was not well taken care of.

If this poor guy wasn't getting enough groceries and appropriate care, what is happening with the other dogs?

ETA - his coat looks very thin I would also have a full Thyroid Panel run on him. Tell your Vet you want a full (MSU - Michigan State University) thyroid run (not just the T4).

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

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post #15 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIA View Post
If they need money, offer to buy the dog, that's another way to get him... Good for you for caring!!!!!

I agree on this one, i normally wouldn't give money to people like that but in this case, throwing some money to the problem might be the solution, and take him to the vet ASAP.

"The word for female dog is not dogette"
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post #16 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 09:08 AM
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I'd keep him. I agree with Redfawnrising in that I'd try to do it as diplomatically as possible at first but I'd make it a legal fight if they demand him back.

Poor guy. I'm really glad you have him now. Do you know what's happening with the other dogs?




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post #17 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 09:12 AM
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If you didn't get pics, you must journal and date observations- use the appropriate dates from the day you got him (it can be as powerful as pics in a court). I bet if you offered them money when/if they try to claim him they may sway. Take him to a vet for his issues and even ask about the situation- vet may know what you can do. Good luck and now you know what its like to be a dobie's human! It only gets better.
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post #18 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 10:01 AM
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No real advice to offer, but I would like ot say good luck in this and I hope he becomes yours. I can see a caring family who wants this dog and someone who just didnt care that gave him up. I cant even begin to comment on his ears or tail, as far as how they were done, except to say I wish I had a pair of scissors and the person who did that standing in front of me., Id show him what it felt like.
Good luck and you have our prayers for this handsome boy becoming a part of your family forever.

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post #19 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 10:40 AM
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I'd do everything to make him "mine". I would get him vacc. plus a dog license. I would take him to a vet and keep tally of all the bills.
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post #20 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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I am so glad that I found this site. You all are really helpful and I appreciate it more than I can express.

This mornings bowel movement was rather shocking. I stopped counting the tape segments at 16. This was just on the outside of his feces. He's been pretty persistent in his attempts to eat grass so I assume that his tummy is bothering him pretty badly. I called a few vets and none offer payment plans for care. They all want paid in full. If anybody can help me find a vet in the 44483 area code that would take payments, you would be a life saver.

I have no idea whats going on with the other dogs now. I don't want to talk to them until I am "chilled out" a little about all of this. I'm sure that the other dogs are still dealing with the same. I wish I had more finances at my disposal because I would take them all.

This is breaking my heart quite literally. I think I may have to find a rescue family and tell the owners that he ran away.....?? Maybe that will work? My wife and I just beat a foreclosure. Times are tough. I really can't afford a large vet bill right now. He deserves better than this. I swear to the almighty... I will get it for him.
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post #21 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 10:58 AM
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Don't really have much else to add, but wanted to wish you both all the best for a happy outcome! I'm glad he's with you and hope it stays that way. I don't think I'd want to talk about it too much online before seeking legal advice.



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post #22 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 10:59 AM
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Possession is 9/10ths of the law. How can they prove that they didn't "give" you the dog when they were under financial duress..?

And there you are with all these food and vet bills showing you've been caring for him for X amount of time... they'll have great difficulty reclaiming this dog.

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post #23 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzedOne View Post
Times are tough. I really can't afford a large vet bill right now.
You still need to get him into the vet, especially if you have kids at home. Animals can carry parasites that can be zoonotic (transmittable to people). You don't have to go all out on bloodwork and everything, but just get him in for an exam and deworming, at least.

I don't know if you are familiar with Care Credit, its like a credit card for veterinary care. You can get approved for it very easily and you don't pay any interest on anything for 6 months so you can pay down a vet bill over several months, if that makes it easier for you to budget.

Good luck and keep us posted!



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post #24 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 11:11 AM
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He does need to go to the vet but if you don't have a couple hundred bucks at the moment for a full on vet-check, I'd probably run to PetSmart (or the like) and buy some drontal since you *know* he has worms.

He really needs to be tested for heartworm too though since most heartworm preventatives also kill other kinds of worms I'd be concerned he's been infected with those as well.

I'm sorry you're facing tough times financially, as so so many are right now. And I understand completely if you can't take on veterinary expenses. Affording a pet can be costly. Especially one that comes to you in bad shape.

If you'd like to contact a rescue to find this boy a good home here's a link to Hand Me Down Dobes in Ohio. I've heard good things about them and we even have some forum members who volunteer with them and have adopted from them.




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post #25 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avianantics View Post
his coat looks very thin I would also have a full Thyroid Panel run on him. Tell your Vet you want a full (MSU - Michigan State University) thyroid run (not just the T4).
While this is typically good advice for a Doberman, if he's carrying a parasite load and possibly has demodex as well, there's really no point in thyroid testing now as results are likely to be skewed due to his other conditions. Get him well and on an even keel, then thyroid test.

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