Police: Dog froze to death after owner ‘forgot’ to get help

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PERU, Ind. (Dec. 9, 2014) -- In a disturbing case of animal cruelty, police arrested a man who left his dog outside for days in the freezing cold.

Officers arrested David Shuck after his 12-year-old sheperd-collie mix died in its outdoor kennel.

In court paperwork provided to FOX59 by the Kokomo Tribune, an officer said Shuck told him that he had left for a few days on a weekend hunting trip.

"He was going to tell someone to put his (dog) inside out of the cold while he was gone but forgot to do so," that officer said.

Officers reported no wind break or any insulated shelter for the dog. They also said Shuck took two days after he got home to check on the dog and another few days to call animal control.

"It's heartbreaking," Tara Harris with Every Dog Counts Rescue said.

Harris has seen other cases of animals being left outside in the cold, including one severe case last winter.

"You could actually see the pattern of how he must have been laying in the cold, because all that skin had just torn away once he stood up," Harris said.

She and other advocates said you should keep your pet indoors during below-freezing nights or, at the very least, provide shelter and straw to keep them warm.

At Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, the dogs go outside for short periods of time because of this very issue.

"It is extremely risky to leave your pet out in bad weather," Dawn Contos with IACC said.

Contos encouraged anyone who sees an animal being kept outdoors and worries about its safety to call their local police non-emergency number or animal control.

"We would rather have you report it and have an officer sent out and then find that maybe it’s not as severe a case as you thought," Contos said.

In Indianapolis, you can also call the Mayor's Action Center at (317) 327-4MAC.

Shuck was charged with a count of animal cruelty. He's expected in court next week.