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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 12, 2016) – A new addition to the Indianapolis Animal Care and Treatment Ordinance defines the extreme low and high temperatures at which point dog owners must bring their dog inside a temperature controlled facility.

Indianapolis Animal Care and Control officers have been getting call after call for dogs being left outside in the cold.
“I think a lot of people that we see out here do have the best interest for their animals,” said Officer Alex Shaefer. “They do obviously care for their animals, but they may just not know how much the cold weather can affect them.”

Officers say frostbite can come on quickly and so it’s imperative that owners heed the new ordinance put in place at the end of last year.

The ordinance states that your dog must be brought inside:

  • When the outside temperature is 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below
  • When the outside temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above
  • When there’s a windchill warning
  • When there’s a heat advisory
  • When a tornado warning has been issued

In addition, when the temperature outside is 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the owner must provide a dog house with proper bedding.

“Something that’s not going to hold the moisture, blankets are going to get wet and they’re going to stay wet and they’re going to freeze,” said Kim Wolsiffer, Deputy Chief of Enforcement for the Indianapolis Animal Care & Control. “So you don’t want the animal laying in that. You want to make sure it’s a more wicking material.”

According to Indianapolis Animal Care & Control, when some people bring their outside dogs inside, their dog’s behavior makes them believe that the dog wants to stay outside. This situation was presented to an Indianapolis Animal Care & Control employee and this was her response:

“When my children were young, they would have played outside in the snow all day. They wouldn’t wear coats or gloves unless I made them. They wouldn’t want to come in until I made them. Because I understood the dangers, I made them wear protective clothing and made them come inside when it was time to warm up. Same goes for pets.”