Please keep dogs out of the cold

Date: January 11, 2018

After a brief warm spell this week, the weather is going to turn much colder again on Saturday. Forecasters are calling for a rapid freeze-up to 21 degrees (with a RealFeel® of 5 degrees), ice and 1 - 2 inches of snow.

Dog owners are reminded that Pennsylvania now has a law designed to protect animals from being tethered outside in cold weather. Enacted in August, it’s called Libre’s Law, named for a puppy that was rescued from a Lancaster County farm last year.

The law prohibits dog owners from tethering dogs outdoors for more than 30 minutes in temperatures below 32 degrees in the winter and above 90 degrees during the summer months.

Violations can result in fines and jail time.

Dog owners also must provide a sanitary shelter to keep your pet dry and help maintain its normal body temperature. The Humane Society of the United States, the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and many state and federal agencies have declared tethering inhumane when it leaves pets exposed to severe temperatures for more than 30 minutes. At the link below you can learn more about the risks to dogs that are left tethered for long periods of time.

If you are cold, your dog is cold. Pets’ tolerance for cold weather can vary as people’s tolerance does. You may also need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather and also be sensitive to the needs of arthritic and elderly pets who may have greater difficulty walking on snow and ice. Dogs and cats are not more resistant than people to cold weather because they have fur. Like people, they are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. Please keep dogs and cats inside during cold weather.

Resources

Resource Sheet: Chained_Tethered Dogs
American Veterinary Medical Association on Cold Weather Pet Safety