Neighbors in a Springfield, Missouri neighborhood have reported seeing a Labrador named Lola, peeking out the window of a home. Resident Deborah Freeman and other people in the area have claimed to be able to smell urine and feces emanating from the house and are concerned about what kind of living conditions that dog must be facing.
“The whole neighborhood is upset,” she said. “We were worried about her when it got up to 104 heat index because there’s no heat or air conditioning to help her.”
Lola lives all alone in the house. Unfortunately, there is nothing that officials can legally do, as under the city’s code, a dog isn’t considered abandoned or neglected if it is still able to access food, shelter, and water.
Authorities have said they met with Lola’s owner and inspected the automatic food and water dispensers he uses to feed her, however, none of the neighbors have ever seen Lola’s owner.
Animal control officers are stopping by every day to check on Lola, saying, “We are taking note of the dog’s condition … and we have found the dog to be happy and playful every time we’ve visited. If at any point we see it decline, that prompts something further that we can do.”
Neighbors have cited a notice against the property over some lawn overgrowth, hoping that it might aid in freeing Lola.
“We ask that you help change the restrictions to correct this and other cases like it for the neighbors’ and Lola’s sake,” Freeman stated. “We just need to find out if there’s a way of changing this for the animals that are stuck in this environment.”
Media attempts to determine Lola’s owner have been unsuccessful as the home’s property records are for a man who is deceased.
The situation is now being handled by Missouri’s Springfield-Greene County Health Department.