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It's illegal to leave your pets out in the cold - here's how to get help

As extremely cold weather bears down on central Indiana, this is a reminder to keep your pets safe.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

INDIANAPOLIS — Advocates are reminding pet owners to protect their animals as extremely cold weather moves in.

Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside (FIDO) shared Thursday that those precautions are the law in Marion County.

It is an ordinance violation to leave a dog outside when the temperature is below 20° or during a wind chill warning. 

Here are a few tips to keep your pets safe and warm:

  • The best place for your pet is inside, but if kept outdoors, your pet must have access to dry shelter. A structure with space to move around will help shield animals from the cold winter air.
  • Keep animals warm and safe by using straw in outdoor shelters. Blankets and towels draw moisture and don’t provide as much insulation and warmth as straw.
  • Animals are just as susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite as you are. Bring them inside as often as you can and, when nature calls, accompany them when they venture outdoors.
  • Keep water available outside and check the dish every few hours to make sure it hasn’t frozen over. Consider investing in a heated water dish to avoid the hassle of a frozen water bowl.

If you are concerned about the safety of an animal in your neighborhood, you can use Indy.gov/RequestIndy or by the Request Indy mobile app available for iPhone and Android.

If you have previously been found in violation of animal ordinances, contact FIDO at (317) 221-1314. They can assist in making your home safer and more suitable for your pets.

For additional information on Indianapolis Animal Care Services, visit indy.gov/acs.

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