What You Should Do If You See A Dog Left Outside in Cold Weather

dog left outside in cold, cold weather advice for pets
BRRRRR…. It’s crazy cold outside!

Do You Think It’s Okay To Leave Your Dog Outside In Cold And Frigid Weather?

Just Google “dogs frozen to death” and see how many news articles pop up about dogs freezing to death in the past recent few days. For example, three dogs were found frozen in Columbus, Ohio reports WMCH-TV. In Indiana, a dog was left outside in his crate and froze, reports WishTV. In Georgia, a dog was found frozen on a front porch. Another dog in Georgia, was found freezing and stuck to the ground but miraculously survives. And the stories go on and on.

Here Is What You Should Do If You Know Of A Dog Left Outside In The Cold

  1. Try Building A Rapport. Odds are that if you know of a dog that is being left outside, it’s most likely a neighbor’s. First, introduce yourself to the neighbor and try to establish a common ground or interest. Do this first before knocking on your neighbor’s door to voice a complaint – so that you don’t automatically put your neighbor on the defensive whenever he/she sees you. Then try to keep your emotions in check – you’re mad and upset but try to have empathy for the neighbor and the situation. Be curious but not confrontational. If your neighbor actually opens up to why he/she keeps the dog outside during the cold, you’ll have a better opportunity to provide advice. This may just be an educational opportunity. But if things get heated (pun intended) and you want to avoid a confrontation then contact proper authorities.
  2. Contact Authorities.  Karen Hirsch, PR Director at LifeLine Animal Project told me, “If people see a dog out in the cold, they should call animal control or police in their county. Because pets left outside in these extreme temperatures, especially without food and shelter, are at risk of hypothermia, frostbite and even death”.  Karen further explained that the dog’s owners are at risk of facing felony charges of neglect.
When making a report, provide as much detail as possible and be specific with facts and what you have witnessed. It’s also a good idea, to take down the name of the person who you made the report to and follow up with them within the next day or two.

Need Advice and Expert Counsel?

You may also contact The Humane Society of the United States for advice and expert counsel. Local animal rescue organizations may also be great resources to turn to for help and assistance in dealing with owners who leave their dog’s outside in the cold.
Karen also wants people to remember that dogs and cats feel the effects of winter weather as much as we do, but there is a “misconception that the fur on their backs will insulate them from suffering”.

Handy Flyer To Pass Out

Here is an informational flyer about the dangers associated with leaving pets outside during cold weather.

via me.me

WagBrag’s co-founder, Russ Boles, has a deep history in animal rescue and welfare. For the past 12 years, Russ has served in various roles with Atlanta-based animal advocacy organizations focused on rescue, training and education. In addition, Russ led a local rescue volunteer team into New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina, assisting in efforts to rescue and care for stranded animals. This experience changed his life, and animal rescue and advocacy will always be a part of everything he does.