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$500 Fine for Pet Owners Who Leave Animals Outside

With lows dropping into the teens at night, authorities are reminding residents not to leave pets tied up and unattended outside.

Pet owners face a $500 fine for violating the ordinance.

Officers will enforce county regulations that says, “a person must not tether a dog under circumstances that endanger its health, safety, or well-being including: unattended tethering of the dog during a weather emergency.”

Enforcement of the regulation goes into effect during periods of extreme cold, wind, and heavy snow, which can all be damaging to dogs and other animals.

Officers urge residents to bring pets indoors during extreme weather. Even animals that are accustomed to living outdoors can be susceptible to the dangers of cold weather.

Livestock animals should have a place to get out of the wind and dry bedding should be provided to protect them from frostbite.

One of the most common forms of animal cruelty, cases of animals left outside in dangerous weather are investigated more by police and animal control agencies than any other form of animal abuse. Dogs and cats feel the effects of winter weather as much as we do, only they are often cast outside to weather the cold or a storm owing to a misconception that the fur on their backs will insulate them from suffering. Without proper shelter, food and water, these domesticated animals’ chances of survival in frigid temperatures is greatly decreased

If You See An Animal Left Outside Report what you see:

Take note of the date, time, exact location and the type of animal(s) involved and write down as many details as possible about the situation. Video and photographic documentation of the animal, the location, the surrounding area, etc. (even a cell phone photo) will help bolster your case.
Contact your local animal control agency or county sheriff’s office and present your complaint and evidence.

If you make a report of alleged animal cruelty, the responding agency is required to investigate. Dialing 911 is the quickest route to get a response, but it is also useful to have the proper animal welfare agency’s number on hand.

If you’re traveling or live in a community without an animal welfare agency, call the local police department (or 911) to report suspected animal abuse.

Take detailed notes regarding whom you speak with and when. Respectfully follow up in a few days if the situation has not been remedied.