My Name Is Earl

Picture of My Name Is Earl at Listal

Picture this:

A mobile home on a dirt road, a garbage bag taped over one window and a confederate flag hung in another. When a vehicle drives past, twelve dogs in various stages of pregnancy and disease run out from under the porch and commence barking.

Or perhaps:

Every time you drive to work, you pass a house with a Pit Bull chained to a tree in the front yard.

If you spend much time in the rural parts of Arkansas ( which is like saying “the wet part of the ocean”), you will run across these scenarios.

So what do you do when the cast of My Name Is Earl and their assorted pitiful animals live down the road?

What Can You Do?

1. You can call your city or county’s Animal Control and report what you’ve seen.


Link to Flickr photo:

This is what the ASPCA suggests:

Try to gather the following information before submitting a report of animal cruelty:

  • A concise, written, factual statement of what you observed—giving dates and approximate times whenever possible—to provide to law enforcement.
  • Photographs of the location, the animals in question and the surrounding area. However, please do not put yourself in danger! Do not enter another person’s property without permission, and exercise great caution around unfamiliar animals who may be frightened or in pain.
  • If you can, provide law enforcement with the names and contact information of other people who have firsthand information about the abusive situation.

Remember, never give away a document without making a copy for yourself!

If you’re not sure what your state considers to be abuse, click here to search animal laws in your state.

There is another approach you may be interested in, as recommended by

2. You can talk to the neighbor and try to help


Like to flickr photo:

This works best in a situation where there are only one or two affected animals and the problem is easily fixable.

If your neighbor has his dog chained up in the yard or in a pen 24/7, you could offer to build a trolley system or a fence so the dog  has room to run. It’s at least a step up from where he was.

If you want to try this approach, but aren’t sure what to say, Unchain Your Dog has some suggestions here.

Maybe you’re doubtful that either of these suggestions would work in your situation, but let me encourage you to at least try one of these two suggestions. Ignoring animal neglect and abuse will not make it go away.


3 responses »

  1. dpc1222 says:

    Absolutely agree with the content of the post, tho I think this photo is a little more “upscale” than the “trashy neighbors” you are referring to! 😉

  2. shoes says:

    Good information, thanks! We don’t currently have trashy neighbors but had I thought to call the city back in our old neighborhood in Phoenix I could have helped out Dexter’s siblings.

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