INDIANAPOLIS – With dangerous heat impacting central Indiana, it’s critical for people to bring their pets inside. In Indianapolis, it’s the law.

It’s against a city-county ordinance to leave pets outside when it’s above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or in cases in which the city is under a heat advisory. Violating the ordinance could result in fines of up to $200.

On any day when the temperature is at or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, pets confined outdoors need to be shaded by trees, a tarp or a tarp-like device. When it is above 90 degrees, or when a heat advisory is in effect, they need to be brought into a temperature-controlled facility.

Those who violate the ordinance may be given written notice and have 30 days to correct the violation. They may also be subject to a $25 fine for the first offense.

The ordinance states subsequent violations will mean at least a $250 fine. Those who repeatedly violate the ordinance face forfeiture or other disposition of the pet involved.

People concerned about the safety of a pet in your neighborhood, call the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4622. For emergencies after hours, call 317-327-3811.

You can also report an address on the Request Indy website or app (iOS or Android). To report an animal outside, select “animals” and then “abuse.” Information submitted through the app goes to on-duty animal care officers.

The Indianapolis Animal Care Service (IACS) says pet owners should never leave their pet in a parked vehicle or travel with them in one that does not have good ventilation. They should also refrain from taking them for walks, play, or runs in the middle of the day.

The IACS provided some ideas of what to do with a pet during a hot day:

  • Exercise in the early AM or PM when the temperatures are cooler
  • Use fans to circulate air if you don’t have air conditioning
  • If outside, make sure your pet has a shaded area to relax
  • Provide your dog with a kiddie pool to help them cool off
  • Make sure your pet has multiple water bowls in case one gets knocked over
  • For cats, provide access to cool spots around the house such as tile floors, tubs, and shaded rooms
  • Put cages under shade cloth to drop the temperature while still allowing cool air to circulate
  • Spray small animals with water using the fine mist setting
  • Keep your pet inside