The temperatures are dropping and it’s time to make sure our pets are protected… or face severe penalties like hefty fines or even jail time.
While a well-intentioned person wanted to leave their unwanted dog in the care of Detroit’s only no-kill shelter, but they didn’t give quite enough care.
The dog was left in a crate outside the shelter at night. Shelter workers found the dog frozen to death the next morning.
Unfortunately, finding frozen dogs isn’t a rarity.
“We’re finding dogs dead in dog houses and strays curled up deceased in fields,” Detroit Dog Rescue founder Kristina Millman-Rinaldi told TODAY. “It’s maddening, sad and discouraging.”
These stories have caused some municipalities to take action to protect animals from cruel weather.
Animal cruelty and neglect is a crime in every state in the U.S., as well as the District of Columbia.
And leaving your pet out in the cold is considered to be animal cruelty in some states.
The state of Pennsylvania signed a law in 2017 that created new protections and penalties for leaving animals out in the cold weather.
One of those protections prevents dogs from being tethered for longer than 30 minutes in temperatures above 90 degrees or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
The penalty for violating parts of their law could lead to 90 days to a year in jail or a $300 to $2,000 fine for crimes that rise to the level of neglect.
Charges of cruelty are punishable of up to 2 years in jail or a $5,000 fine.
Aggravated cruelty can get you 7 years in jail or a $15,000 fine.
“Continuous tethering can cause severe physical damages such as cracked and bleeding paws, frostbite and hypothermia,” Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania State Director of the Humane Society of the United States, told Fox 43.
“We encourage the public to help to keep the dogs of Pennsylvania safe and warm this winter by reporting animal neglect to the local humane society police officer, local or state police. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.”
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that you should call the police if you see an animal outdoors that looks like they are in distress or being kept in a manner that violates the law.
— FEMA Region 2 (@femaregion2) January 4, 2018
“It is best to be prepared to provide law enforcement with specific details, including the type of animal involved, as well as exactly when and where you observed the animal,” Stacy Wolf, senior vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ anti-cruelty group said.
You may be directed to a different agency or shelter. But whatever you do, don’t try to rescue the animal on your own.
This case hits too close to our hearts, because Joey is the dog we all think of at night. The dog that is freezing,…
It could lead to your own arrest.
Make sure that you bring your pet inside during the cold weather.
Some shelters or dog rescue groups will even provide owners with crates to keep their dogs with behavior problems confined in the cold winter months.
But keeping your pets from freezing to death is just one precaution you have to take in the winter.
Winter can bring about a lot of other dangers for your pets.
You can find more tips for keeping your pets safe in the winter here.
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