Good on you OP for taking action. Hope there is a positive outcome for the doggy!
Poor dog. There's no harm in asking the authorities to check it out. If all checks out okay then it won't be an issue, if it doesn't then the dog gets out of a horrible situation.
On a side note, our dog gets tied up when we're all out, because if we don't he jumps the fence. We can't afford to get new fences yet, and we've tried to raise the height of our fences but he just saw it an extra challenge. Unfortunately we will have to tie him up more often because now he knows that being tied up = us leaving and he is becoming quite vocal in distress when we all leave him (there is someone home 90% of the time) so we need to eliminate the 'triggers' that we are going, and one of those is to tie him up when we are at home. However, he has adequate shade and sun, bedding, bones, food and water when tied up, and he gets a run every single morning, plus a walk most days, and after dinner he is inside to sleep for the night. If one of my neighbour's put in a complaint I would happily reassure council/RSPCA that my dog is not neglected at all and am confident nothing would come of it.
It really is a tough situation. Especially in a rental. Its not as easy as telling them to fix the fence as it is up to the owners and some owners are incredibly slack. And it is easy to say that they shouldn't rent a place without a proper fence but sometimes beggars cant be choosers and with the rental market so competitive in most places and so much discrimination against families with kids and/or pets you often have to take what you are given or be homeless.
When moving it can take two weeks just to unpack and sort the house out especially with children and sadly walking the dog could easily fall down the list.
I agree that it is horrible and I despise the thought of tying dogs up but maybe they are just really struggling with a horrible move and don't have the resources to dog proof their fence and are having a hard time getting the owners to fix it.
A very encouraging update: the dog next door was actually OFF his tether this afternoon! For about half an hour but still, it was so good to see. I have no idea if that's because of a visit from the council or not, but it doesn't matter. The dog got a break. There's hope!
That's a tiny bit of good news!
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