When should you call authorities about pets left in the cold?


There have been a lot of questions about pets left in the cold since the polar vortex arrived in Pennsylvania this week.

Calls for animals left outside jumped up as the thermometer dropped. 

The law says it is illegal to leave a dog tethered outside for more than half an hour when the temperature is below 32 degrees. 

When kept outside, animals also must have access to shelter. The issue is that it’s not always clear on what is defined as shelter. 

Jennifer Nields is a humane officer for the SPCA. She says if you see an animal outside and it’s cold, it is always a good idea to call the police. 

“I would rather be safe than sorry. If they see an animal outside and the shelter is falling apart, if there are holes in the shelter, if the dog looks cold or anything along those lines, we do ask that you call,” said Nields. 

What if you see a dog kept in a car in chilly temperatures?  Nields says if the animal is showing signs it’s upset, then it is probably a good idea to call the police. 

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