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Reminder: Bring Your Pets Indoors When the Temperature Drops Below 20 Degrees

If you live in Indy, leaving your pets outside in below-freezing temps could result in a fine.

INDIANAPOLIS -- With the temperatures clinging to the teens and expected to drop even lower in the coming days, animal advocates are reminding pet owners to do the right thing and bring their four-legged friends inside. 

In Indianapolis, it is illegal to leave your pets outside when the temperature is at or below 20 degrees or when there is a wind chill warning. 

Anybody found in violation of the ordinance must pay a fine of more than $25 for their first offense. On their second offense, they will have to pay a fine of more than $200 and could lose the animal.

Animal neglect cases can be reported at 317-327-4622. Marion County Animal Care and Control can impound dogs it believes are in need of care and treatment.

The law states the following in regards to tethering, shelter and what to do in extreme cold temperatures:


It is against the law to chain your dog if any of the following is true:  

  • Your dog is less than 6 months old
  • Your dog is sick or injured
  • It is between 11 pm and 6 am
  • Your dog is not spayed or neutered (unless your dog is within eyesight)


Your dog must also have:

  • Adequate space for exercise; at least 100 square feet
  • Any dog over 80 pounds must have 150 square feet
  • Add extra 50 square feet for each additional dog


Dogs must have access to: 

  • Shelter constructed of solid, weather resistant materials
  • Dry floor raised above the ground
  • Roof sloped away from entrance


Dogs must be brought inside a temperature controlled building if: 

  • Temperature outside is 20 degrees and below
  • Temperature outside is 90 degrees and above
  • There’s a heat advisory
  • There’s a wind chill warning
  • There’s a tornado warning

(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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