Animal control: Woman not breaking laws by letting dogs live in car
Anchorage Animal Care and Control Spokeswoman Laura Atwood said they've gotten more than a dozen complaints about a woman whose three dogs have been living in her car for months.
People who are concerned about the dog's welfare are asking why animal control officers aren't taking the animals to the shelter, but Atwood says, so far, the woman hasn't broken any laws.
Atwood says the woman is meeting the basic criteria of care for the Municipal code known as Title 17. She says officers have checked the animals after every complaint, and every time, the owner is in compliance.
"Every time we've gone out there, we have found that they do have food and water and that they are sheltered within that vehicle," said Atwood. "If that vehicle is their temporary home, and they are being cared for, under Title 17, then that is an acceptable situation at this time."
The woman, who wouldn't give her name to KTVA, said she's been homeless since February. Since that time, she has slept in her car or, more recently, on friends' couches. She parks her vehicle close by so she can keep a close eye on her dogs and insists they are well taken care of.
"My dogs are spoiled, they're taken care of better than half the kids in this neighborhood," she said, gesturing to the Muldoon neighborhood where her vehicle is currently parked. "With the exception of them living in a car, that's the only difference."
The woman said she walks her dogs at night, which she identified as pitbull, miniature Australian shepherd mixes.
AACC said all the dogs appear to be healthy and in good shape. But Atwood said the situation could change, if, for example, temperatures drop and it gets too cold in the car for the dogs to be safe. In that case, animal control would recommend Anchorage Police press cruelty charges before the dogs could be removed from the car.
Police, who responded to the scene this weekend, said they didn't find issues with the woman's animals but they did cite problems with her vehicle, including expired tags and illegal parking.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.