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Bring Your Pets Inside During Cold Weather -- It's the Law

It's against city-county ordinance to leave animals outside without access to a dry shelter when the temperature is at or below 20 degrees.

INDIANAPOLIS – Be sure to bring Fido or Fluffy inside when the temperatures drop this weekend or you could hurt your pet and your wallet.

It's against city-county ordinance (Sec. 531-401) to leave animals outside without access to a dry shelter when the temperature is at or below 20 degrees or if a wind chill advisory has been issued for the city.

If you fail to care for your pets in cold weather, you could be fined up to $200.

To report an animal left outside in dangerous winter weather, call the Mayor's Action Center at 317-327-4622. For emergencies after regular business hours, call 317-327-3811.

If you need help making your home more suitable and safer for your pet this winter, please contact Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside at 317-221-1314.

How to Keep Your Pets Safe and Warm This Winter

  • The best place for your pet is inside, but if kept outdoors your pet must have access to dry shelter. A structure with space to move around will help shield your animal from the cold winter air.
     
  • Keep your pet warm and safe by using straw in outdoor shelters, not blankets and towels. Blankets and towels draw moisture and don’t provide as much insulation and warmth as straw.
     
  • Pets are just susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite as you are. Bring them inside as often as you can, and, when nature calls, accompany them outdoors.
     
  • Make sure you keep water available outside and check the dish every few hours to make sure the water hasn’t frozen over.

 (Photo by Jaap Arriens/Thinkstock.)

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