SPOKANE, Wash.-- KREM 2 News investigated after receiving a phone call on Friday about a dog living inside a car for more than a week.
Neighbors in Hillyard said they made a handful of complaints to Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) in nine or ten days. One woman said the windows on the car were not cracked and there was not any food in the car while the dog was inside.
SCRAPS employees said they visited the dog several times and said the owner was not doing anything wrong.
“I can't sleep at night because I keep thinking about that poor dog in that car you know,” said Sheila Neagle.
Neagle said her husband was on Longfellow near Myrtle when he noticed the pit bull inside the car.
"He's tearing the inside of the car up because he wants out. No animal should have to live like that. In a car. That's horrible,” said Neagle.
The Neagle’s said they have checked on the dog a few times and gave it food.
"He was defecating in the car, I'm sure he was urinating also. We didn't see any food or water in there also,” said Neagle.
Neighbors said the dog is living inside an abandoned car. They said the dog owner lived in trailers near the car but was evicted and has not been seen. The neighbors said they are the ones that have fed the dog and are taking care of him.
SCRAPS said they responded to five complaints and checked on the animal. They said the man who owns the dog used to live in the trailers but it was unclear if the car belonged to him. They said the two people caring for the dog were not doing anything wrong.
"It appears the animal is being well taken care for. It's in good body condition and there's no sores or wounds on it at this time, with the weather the way it is there's just no violation of law,” said SCRAPS Field Operations Manager Nicole Montano.
SCRAPS said it is not against the law for an animal to live in a car even if there is no food or water and if the windows are not cracked. They said it is legal as long as the animal is fed every 36 hours. SCRAPS said unsafe conditions are determined by the weather.
“There's no violation for keeping an animal inside a vehicle when it's too cold. Actually a vehicle provides great shelter,” said Montano. "It's against the law to leave your pet in the car when the temperatures are hot. Generally we see if you are leaving your pet in a vehicle on a 65 degree day it could be up to 85 degrees inside that vehicle."
SCRAPS said it is in contact with the dog owner and will continue to monitor the situation.
"It does have a home. It's living in the vehicle temporarily until the owner can come back and retrieve it,” said Montano.
SCRAPS said the neighbors who were caring for the dog decided to bring the dog to the shelter on Saturday afternoon. SCRAPS said that is where the dog will stay until the owner decides to come and get him.
SCRAPS said the owner has five days to come get the dog until it considers options for adoption.