Intentional or unintentional?
Neglect can include intentional or unintentional harm to pets. This may include abandonment, failure to provided food, water or shelter, excessive ground staking, denying the pet social interaction, untreated medical conditions, failure to groom, etc. Neglect such as abandonment can lead to death.
Other types of neglect have a direct correlation to poverty and disease. Sometimes people who live on the edge financially can no longer feed their pet when they lose a job, go through a divorce, have unexpected medical conditions, or their housing cost goes up. Other people who get sick, or suffer from debilitation diseases such as major depression, full body paralysis, etc., may have times when they forget to feed and water their animals or when they are physically unable to get out of bed and care for their pet. By getting to know our neighbors and being willing to help each other, we can help each other with pet care, and may be able to help our neighbors and friends keep an animal they love. This type of neglect can usually be corrected if neighbors, friends, and relatives, are willing to pitch in.
Intentional neglect includes abandoning an animal, dumping them on the streets or in the country, failure to provide food, water, shelter, and medical care when the animal’s guardian (or owner) has the resources to do so, casual or excessive animal breeding, keeping animals in inhumane conditions.
Occasionally, this type of neglect may be stopped by caring neighbors, so it’s always worth a try. Gather one or two other neighbors who are also concerned, figure out what you will say to the person ahead of time, and then approach the person neglecting their pet. Try to express your concern rather than judgment. Sometimes, people are ignorant and they’ll come around. Most people want to be liked by their neighbors. If they don’t respond, if the animal(s) are in very poor condition, or if you do not feel safe speaking to the person who is neglecting their pet, call the authorities.