A dog named Bear was forced to walk around his flooded kennel for days, his human neighbor said, but a Missouri police department could not remove him from the pen.
Samantha Sell, of Blue Springs, took videos of Bear that show him barking and walking around the flooded pen. The muddy water hits just above his paws, leaving him no way to lie down while keeping his chocolate-colored fur dry.
“(He has) been sitting — standing actually — in water for three days with his dirty water bowl full of mud,” a woman was heard saying in one of the videos. “He has been whining, he’s been crying, barking every single day and these people still won’t do anything about it.”
Jerri Graham Sell posted the videos to Facebook on Tuesday, and they have each been seen about 100,000 times.
“The water wasn’t as bad. It was sloshy for about a day, but then the rain started building, and it wasn’t draining out of the cage,” Samantha Sell told WDAF in a video interview. “I seen him walking around the cage in circles for hours, and I am just thinking, ‘Where is your food? How are you using the bathroom?’ Just like, you can’t lay down. You can`t sleep, and so it broke my heart.”
An animal control officer was called to the home, WDAF reported, but nothing could be done.
“I understand. It is frustrating,” an officer was heard saying on a video obtained by WDAF. “I understand that completely, but I can only do so much.”
One day after the videos were shared on Facebook thousands of times, the Blue Springs Police Department posted a statement to Facebook regarding why an officer could not rescue the dog from the home.
“The Blue Springs Police Department and the City of Blue Springs completely understands the concern and frustration surrounding the conditions of the dog that appeared in the video circulating social media last night,” the statement said. “We want you to know we have continued to monitor this situation.”
The department said that a Missouri state law prevents police from seizing a dog without a warrant.
“The owner was issued a citation and ordered to remove the standing water in the outdoor dog run and bring the dog inside for the night,” the statement said. “The owner complied and this was completed at about 6:30 p.m. on October 9.”
That was about four hours after the videos were posted to Facebook.
“While it was difficult to see in the original video, the entrance to the dog house was about 8 inches above the floor of the outdoor dog run, which allowed the dog to seek elevated and dry shelter from the elements,” police said. The dog house can be seen in the far-right of the videos.
Police posted photos of the dog house and kennel, which show a dog house and wood shavings toward the back of the pen. When police took the photos, though, there was no longer any flooded water in Bear’s kennel.
Samantha Sell has since started a Change.org petition to have Bear the dog taken away from his owner.
“ I have seen Bear abused and neglected for months now, and others have seen it well before me,” she wrote. “Since the Blue Springs Police Department and Animal Control have failed to do anything for the dog, I am taking it upon my self to help him.”
As of 9:30 a.m. Thursday, about 1,500 people had signed the petition.