TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – It’s no secret that dogs love to run and play outside.
However, there comes a point when, just like for people, being outside in the cold becomes dangerous.
Rick Scheid with Terre Haute Code Enforcement says it’s an issue they have to monitor this time of year.
“People call in, they’ll see animals tethered outside in this cold weather,” Scheid said. “And you know, you gotta realize that if it’s cold for you, it’s cold for them. Especially for your short haired dogs.”
Scheid says when they get a call they go and investigate the conditions of the dogs. He says there are a variety of stories he hears from those who’ve left their pets outside.
“Sometimes I hear, you know I have to work,” Scheid said. “Or you know, he’s not an inside dog. Or I’ve heard, he’s a chewer so I can’t have him inside. You know, various excuses. You’ll hear everything.”
Despite the consequences your pet could face from being outside too long in the cold, you yourself could face some punishment for leaving them out there.
“It can be as small as you know, I addressed the problem and they take care of it right away,” Scheid said. “There could be a citation issued just for general animal care. And then it can go all the way up to animal cruelty depending on the severity of the incident.”
That being said, if you do have to leave your pet outside, there are some things you should do to help them cope with the cold weather.
“You need to have, you know, fresh water which doesn’t take long for it to freeze in this kind of weather obviously and they need a four-sided shelter you know so they can get in out of the weather and straw possibly or whatever if they’re outside in a kennel,” Scheid said.
If you see an animal you think is in danger you’re asked to call 311 and report what you see.