Joseph Boyer: To Call the OSPCA on a Neighbor or Not Over Neglect of a Dog? Social Media Impact!


CFN – I’ve always been against cruelty to animals on any level and have vowed to intervene if I ever came across it – that day was today.

I had been struggling on whether or not to contact the local Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (OSPCA) about my concerns for the dog next door. In my opinion, the dog was being neglected to a point of abuse and having become a recent pet owner myself, felt that if the situation did not change the dog would continue to suffer.  On that same note, I recognized the fact that I may be sensitive to the way other owners handle their pets and the conditions they keep them in.


What I did next provided me with a lesson that I will not soon forget.


Instead of contacting the OSPCA I put the question out to social media. Surely other, more experienced owners would have more insight into this I thought. I was correct. I was provided with an abundance of comments and suggestions from owners and people who have worked in the pet industry. I also took the liberty of doing some research on the OSPCA website, along with other animal cruelty websites.


With the information collected from different sources I still wasn’t sure if I should make the call. After all, nobody likes a nosy neighbor causing a problem when there isn’t one, right? So I went out in my yard, on my property, and took some photos of the dog in the kennel, (the condition of it) and posted them. This was in response to some people asking to see the actual situation.


Some may think this was the wrong approach and you may or may not be correct. In doing so, my belief was to set aside any of my personal bias and have a public discussion on it. I allowed people to view the pictures for a short time, then took them down after the discussion had finished. All on my own personal news feed. I should also add that in no way did I identify my neighbor, where they live or suggest people come and see.


The discussion was unanimous; every single person who participated felt there were enough violations to warrant a call and investigation. I took this to heart and decided to sleep on it and make a decision the next day. Later that afternoon however, I had an officer show up at my door. I was questioned about my post and was told I had been accused of harassment and threats. Obviously this was a little shocking and demoralizing. After all, I was the one trying to do well and save an animal I thought.


Now, to the credit of the officer, after explaining the situation and the truth of it, all was well. I was informed that I was, “treading on a fine line…” and “…not to post anything else.” Though I thought the entire situation was a little over-blown, I was encouraged by a suggestion given from the officer, “next time just phone.” – Lesson learned.


Whether or not social media is the correct platform for these types of discussions and posts will be a never-ending debate. I can tell you that using this platform yielded results faster than one can imagine. If you come across this situation and your heart is telling you something is wrong, chances are something is. These animals can’t speak for themselves so I challenge you to not remain silent and “make the call.”


I can tell you now that the condition of the kennel is much better than it was and no violations seem to be present. I have a feeling that the overall quality of life for this animal has been improved and that makes me feel at peace with the world. I didn’t remain silent, I took action and things improved.


For more information on animal cruelty and how to report/identify it, please visit the following LINK

To report suspected animal abuse call the Ontario SPCA at 1-888-ONT-SPCA (668-7722) ext. 327 or email, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

Joseph Boyer is a recent graduate of the St. Lawrence College Journalism program and looks to hone his writing and reporting skills in all aspects of the media.


He has a strong thirst for the “pursuit of truth” and brings an un-biased, both sides of the story approach to his articles.


He has operated and owned a small entertainment company since 2008, (Touch Bass DJ’s) and is involved with the musical community of Cornwall.

To Sponsor Joseph’s music column email

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  1. Oh Joseph.. The tales you spin..

  2. Nice to hear that the animal got better treatment in the end….no matter how you went about it. Next time just make the call : )

  3. @ Shari Larken – Got that right!

    @ Lolochuck – Indeed, I will

    @ Patsy Primea – If you’re suggesting that anything is fictional about this account I’m affraid you’re mistaken. I do thank you for your comment and the time you took to read the article however.

  4. joe I know how you feel.. been there on the balance between reporting something as abuse or neglect of an animal and not reporting it..and ratting on a neighbor or person your not sure about… you don`t want to judge but your conscience won`t let you rest… don`t wrestle with it boy! call`em and let them decide next time…. protect yourself your young and you grew up in an age of pictures are everywhere… don`t put yourself in danger ever , some folks will sue at the drop of a hat.. just call …

  5. I always say trust your gut instinct & make that call. I did twice 40 years ago within 2 months of each other, the first was a dog tied outside in a very hot humid day without shade & unable to reach water dish which I couldn’t see if filled or not, help arrived within a half hour,never saw this dog returned to owner. Second was a young girl around 7 or 8 that often used my same street,her mom got the help & guidance that she needed & protection & visits from children,s aide for the little girl. Great outcome for all including me, ………shoulda,coulda,wouda never accomplishes anything.

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