Dog freezes to death as Indianapolis shelter works to rescue dozens of animals left in the cold

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As the snow continues to fall and the below freezing temperatures stick around, animals that are left outside are in serious danger.

“He is really cold. Do you see him shaking,” said Indianapolis Animal Care Services Officer Becky Knowles.

Officer Knowles responds to dozens of complaints concerning animals left outside in the bitter cold. On Wednesday, she found a dog named Brownie chained up outside of a southeast side home. Officer Knowles explained the violation to the dog’s owners.

“Basically, you have told me that he is continuously chained up and he is never in the house and is not neutered. He also does not have a proper doghouse so there are a lot of violations here,” said Officer Knowles

The dog’s chain had to be cut off with pliers. Brownie is just one of the dozens of dogs forced to live outside in the cold right now in central Indiana, despite an Indianapolis law that makes it illegal to leave pets outside when it is below 20 degrees or if a Wind Chill Advisory is in effect.

“She does not have a choice. It has to come in…every dog in the city has to come in with these temperatures,” said Officer Knowles.

Within just seconds, animals can be affected by the cold. Just like with human’s hypothermia and frostbite can set in and their paws can also bleed.

Just over the weekend, Indianapolis Animal Care Services says they received nearly 300 phone calls about animals left outside in the cold. On Monday, officers found one dog frozen to death. That case is currently under investigation.

“We have so many calls. You do not know which ones are serious and which ones you need to get to first,” said Officer Knowles.

Brownie’s owners took him inside and are currently working with Officer Knowles to get resources for their dog. It’s an ending that Knowles does not always get to see.

“It is very difficult but when the owners are cooperative and they love their pets it makes it easier and there are places that can help,” said Officer Knowles.

If you need resources like food or supplies for your pet during the winter months, contact Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside (F.I.D.O). The F.I.D.O voicemail line is (317) 221-1314.

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