Four dogs, three removed by animal control due to neglect and starvation, too late for the fourth that froze to death under the care of a teenage pet sitter while the family was away on a 10-day vacation.  When the Taylor family of Clarksville, TN returned from their vacation that is what they were greeted with and now they want the 16-year-old, a friend of their son who was given the responsibility to look after their home and pets, to be charges with a crime.

It was lucky that the family’s neighbor’s noticed that something was amiss and called animal control who showed up with food and water for the neglected dogs and left a note for the homeowner.  When they came back to check on the situation, sadly it was too late for one of the dogs, a pitbull named T-mac, who had frozen to death.  They removed the other three dogs at that time.  Pity they didn’t take them the first time they stopped by but perhaps the situation didn’t seem dire then, it wasn’t as cold, who knows.

“A couple of hours probably in this cold, especially when it dropped down to the teens, it wouldn’t take any time for an animal to freeze to death,” said David Selby of Animal Control.

Kevin Taylor was allowed to pick up his remaining three dogs and wants to press charges against the teen. The problem is that there needs to be evidence of some kind of a binding contract or agreement placing the responsibility for caring for the dogs in the hands of the 16-year-old. Animal control is checking with the DA to see what, if any charges, will be filed.

This is a sad situation, one that should never have happened. Something like this happened to me quite a few years ago when Jezzie was just a puppy and I also had two other dogs plus a menagerie of birds, luckily without the consequences that the Taylor family have to face. I had to go out of town on business for about a week and a friend said their 16-year-old son would be happy to stay at the house and care for me babies. I wasn’t comfortable leaving them but knew the friend and his family and they assured me that they would make sure everything was taken care of. On the second day away when I couldn’t get an answer at home when I called I cut my trip short, drove 6 hour and came back only to find that no one had been there, my house was a mess and the babies had no food or water. Luckily I was gone only a day and a half and aside from a mess to clean up and hungry and thirsty dogs and birds, there was no lasting consequences.

I can tell you that since then I have never left my babies in anyone else’s care and won’t. I question if the Taylor family called the teen that was supposed to be watching their home and dogs to check on things at home. Generally I don’t like to place blame on a family that has lost beloved furry family members but just how responsible is a 16-year-old? My heart does go out to the family for their loss and I hope this warns people to be extremely careful who you leave the care of your pets to. I’ve even heard horror stories about kennels and boarding places. It’s sad when you don’t know who to trust.

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