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Officers respond to dozens of reports of pets left out in cold

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Animal Care and Control is receiving dozens of calls to check on pets left out in the bitter cold.

Since Monday, the agency reports it has responded to 80 cold related runs and taken 10 animals to its shelter.

Officer Lee Callahan is among those working to make sure pets are safe.

He conducted a welfare check, Wednesday, on two beagles outside a house on the southeast side. The dogs were in good condition, there was hay on the ground to protect their paws from the snow, and the dog house was heated. However, the water in their bowls was frozen.

He informed the owner and said he would monitor the dogs, because of the extreme temperatures.

“He did advise me he’s going to get the dogs heated water bowls,” said Callahan. “This may be one of the situations where us talking to him may help the dogs out a lot more than us just coming up to him and saying hey we’re gonna write you citations for your frozen water bowl.”

Most people do comply when they discover they’ve violated a code. Callahan showed FOX59 the cold kennels where officers found three dogs on Tuesday. The owners faced multiple violations.

“Nothing’s stopping the snow from coming in from the top,” he said pointing to the fenced in kennel. “No straw. No heated water bowls.”

The dogs were immediately taken inside and were still inside when officers came to check on them.

"Sometimes people just don’t what the ordinances are and they don’t realize that they’re breaking the law. And they don’t realize that they’re putting the animals in harm’s way,” said Callahan. “If folks really wanna know and understand how cold it can get for a dog, they can come outside with a blanket on in this weather and just.. see how cold they’re actually gonna get in a matter of minutes.”

For more information on code violations, click here. If you see an animal suffering, call Animal Care and Control at 317-327-1397.

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