How should proceed if my roommate has been neglecting her dog?

My roommate basically threatened me via a note. She has been keeping a dog caged up in her bedroom for a least a week now. The first time, I discovered 3 dogs in tiny cages without food, water, fresh air and covered in their own feces. I immediately informed my other roommate, who called the offending roommate and we both insisted she get back to the apartment right away, otherwise I would take action (call animal control, police). That night, 2 of the dogs left. I just got back from visiting family for a few days. When I entered the residence, the dog was whining and I went to check on it. It had no food or water again, I got it some. I need advice on how to proceed (also no allowed pets in apartment).

Asked on July 14, 2014 under Criminal Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can be evicted for having pets if the lease does not permit them, because in that case, you will be in breach or violation of the lease. You might start by telling your roommate that 1) if you are evicted due to her having a dog, you will sue her for any and all costs and fees (including moving fees; amounts you have to pay the landlord for breach of lease; etc.), so she needs to remove it; and 2) that if the dog is not cared for, you will have to call animal control. If she does not remove the dog, but does care for it, there is little you can do until and unless the landlord takes action against you, in which case you'll have your own legal claim against your roommate; but if the animal stays and is neglected, you may need to follow through and call animal control.

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