FAIRFIELD, CT — Fairfield community members are planning a protest Sunday to raise awareness about a dog they fear is being neglected by its owner in Greenfield Hill.
The animal is continuously left outdoors, according to one organizer, who said she fears the dog, named Bailey, could suffer frostbite or hypothermia in the coming winter months.
“We are outraged because we all care about this poor dog,” said Fairfield resident Jacqueline Levin.
However, in repeated visits with the owner in the 200 block of Sherwood Farm Road, police found that no laws were broken. Officers went to the home Oct. 24-26 and Nov. 3 after receiving an anonymous report, police said. They found a padded dog house and a crate, both of which were under a deck and covered with a tarp, according to police. Law enforcement expressed concern about winter weather and offered to keep the dog at the town shelter because there was heavy wind and rain in the forecast, but the owner declined, police said.
On Oct. 26, law enforcement had a phone conversation with the owner, according to police.
“She was very cooperative and understanding of our need for follow up and investigation,” police said. “She added that she loves her dog very much. The owner was very concerned about how the complaints were coming in, the potential harassment people may be causing her along with the possibility of people trespassing on her property.”
During the last visit, the owner agreed to keep the dog in the garage in inclemenet weather and the case was closed. Repeated attempts by Patch to reach the owner were unsuccessful.
“The Fairfield Police Department takes all accusations of animal cruelty or abuse seriously,” police said Oct. 27 in a Facebook post about the situation. “Often times, the public wants law enforcement to take action when there is not a violation of current state law, and current state law does not require pet owners to bring their domestic pets inside. In cases such as this where disagreement occurs, it is our recommendation that the public contact their elected representatives in the Connecticut Legislature and advocate for changes to the laws.”
State law dictates pet owners must provide “protection from the weather,” but does not offer specifics. Advocates for Bailey, who also held a protest last week, are hoping to draw attention to the law.
“We want to change the way that Bailey’s being treated,” Levin said. “There are probably a lot of Baileys out there.”
The protest will take place 11 a.m. in the 200 block of Sherwood Farm Road.