Animal Care Services will fine residents who leave pets outside in below-freezing temps

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- With temperatures in the low teens, it's important to keep pets indoors.

In Indianapolis, it's against the law to keep your pet outdoors if the temperature is below 20 degrees or if a wind chill advisory is issued.

When temperatures hit below 40 degrees, dogs must have shelter that is insulated with bedding, such as straw, and a cover over the opening that will allow the dog to shield itself from the cold temperatures to stay warm.

Dogs must also have access to water and cannot be chained or tethered outside between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

"We have officers patrolling 24/7 right now to make sure that animals are brought in and if they are outdoors that they have shelter that’s sufficient," says Kristen Lee, spokesperson for Indianapolis Animal Care Services. "It needs to be water-resistant, elevated from the ground as well as have some sort of insulation and something covering the outside.”

Lee says if you leave your pet outside in these temperatures, you’re going to get ticketed.

“It can be anywhere up to $200," says Lee. "We’re giving them out daily right now as the cold weather hits. It’s super important that people know to bring their animals in and if they are having them out, to be safe and cautious and be reminded that your dog can get cold just like you can get cold. They can get hypothermia, they can get frostbite, they can get all the things that you can get.”

Lee says when temps hit 40 degrees or below, pets must have some type of shelter that is insulated with proper bedding.

“Straw is a good form of insulation for the animals," says Lee. "It needs to be deep enough that they can burrow and kind of shield themselves from the cold weather but it also needs to be able to not hold in any moisture. So, that’s why straw is kind of the good route to go."

If you are concerned about an animal’s safety, call 327-4622.