Leaving pets out in the cold could be illegal


It’s deadly cold outside, so you can imagine what it means for your outdoor pets.

Turns out a lot of people are keeping them outside right now.

But, it’s not just dangerous, it can be illegal.

“It’s pretty heartbreaking, hopefully the ones that are left out are at least given somewhat proper housing,” said Heather Watkins.

Watkins is with the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

She used the word “hopefully” not just for the welfare of the animal.

But she says it’s also illegal to leave an animal outside without proper housing in these conditions.

She offers one word of advice for leaving your pets outside in sub-freezing temps.

“Don’t. Bring them in,” said Watkins.

Beyond that there are some simple things you can do to protect them.

Two things:

Buy them a shelter of some sort,

And fill it with hay to insulate it.

“If you’re close with your neighbors, you may be able to go over and offer help,” said Watkins.

That’s what Melissa Kendrick and her sister do, except they offer their service to more than just their neighbors.

“Were just two people doing this volunteer,” said Kendrick.

They help run an operation on Facebook to provide animals with shelter.

The acronym for their page is PAWS.

“Most people are like thank you so much or I’ve been meaning to get one or my check just didn’t have enough in it this month, most people just appreciate the help,” said Kendrick.

And according to Birmingham police, a lot of people need it.

They told us they received 17 calls over New Year’s Eve night-Monday morning.

So if you are one of those people and you jus can’t get the animal in for the night - here’s something to remember.

“If they’re gonna be outside definitely monitor them and watch for signs of distress: Being lethargic, shivering, shaking, shallow breath - if you notice things like that, your gonna need to bring them in,” said Watkins.

Also we checked with police and if your animal dies while left outside in these temperatures, you could be charged with a felony.

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