In the all too often freezing temperatures of the winter months, it is essential to keep animals inside as much as possible. Most responsible pet owners know that there is no such thing as an "outdoor dog" when the temps drop, but what do you do if you see someone else mistreating their dog?This weather can be deadly for dogs and there are innumerable casesto prove it. Although it doesn't receive as much attention as violent animal abuse, neglect is still animal cruelty and is a misdemeanor in all 50 states in the U.S.
Even without bad intentions, owners probably think their fur will protect them from the elements, but being domesticated animals, it takes a much harsher toll than they realize.If you see an animal outside that you think might be mistreated, intervening may be the only way to save him. The Humane Society offers tips on what to do if you see a pet left in the cold.The first step is to write down and take pictures or video of the situation. Get down as many details as possible including what type of animals, how many, the location and time.
Next, take your complaint to your local animal service office or police station. Take down all the information that they give you, including their name.Make sure to follow up in the next few days if the issue isn't resolved.
Keep in mind that you can file felony charges in Massachusetts and Oklahoma for animal abuse, and if the neglect results in death, felony charges can be filed inCalifornia, Connecticut, Florida and Washington, D.C.For more detailed and specific information you can also contact the Humane Society directly. They can offer expert advice on a case-by-case basis.