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Dogs are Freezing to Death!
From AR/DC and Youngstown Vindicator, OH

PLEASE report dogs that are out in dangerous weather without appropriate shelter. Familiarize yourself with the regulations in your area, report animals who are in bad situations, and MAKE SURE the situation is improved. In D.C., a single call may save an animal's life. In other areas, unfortunately, you may have to keep after animal control about it. Don't let them ignore you—and the animals. Their job is to keep animals safe and you may have to demand they do that.

Uncomfortable as you may be about it, think of how uncomfortable the dog is. BE ASSERTIVE, for them. In most cases, animal control will make the guardian take the animal(s) in until they can provide proper shelter, water, etc. for them.

Take them straw if there is no other alternative. We have no idea how many are dying this winter! Please help. According to this article, the plastic igloo doghouses are just holding in the cold and contributing to the deaths!

Dave Nelson, the animal officer below, states that neighbors should provide food and water and bring suffering outdoor pets into their garages and basements for shelter. Face your fears and help save a life!



Animal Charity's agent urges people to report
pets neglected outdoors in the cold.

By Peter Milliken, Vindicator staff writer

Fourteen dogs in Youngstown are known to have frozen to death outdoors this month, and Dave Nelson, Animal Charity humane agent, said he is preparing to file charges against their owners, wherever he can. "If you can't get out there and give your dog proper food, proper water, proper shelter, there's something really wrong," Nelson said.

Nelson said he will assemble his reports and photos and confer with the city prosecutor about the charges in each case and expects to charge more than half of the owners. "We will start prosecuting them as soon as I get the first available chance here to get down there and turn in all the paperwork," he said.

Some cases are difficult or impossible to prosecute because ownership of the animal can't be established, he said. None of the 14 owners answered the door when Nelson arrived. "If they were home, it would be an arrest right on contact. They'd be taken right to the Mahoning County Jail," he said. HE SAID HE WAS TIPPED OFF TO ALL 14 CASES BY NEIGHBORS AND UTILITY WORKERS.
Nelson said his office, which covers all of Mahoning County, has been receiving an average of 25 calls a day concerning pets suffering outdoors during the cold snap. Nelson urges those seeing pets suffering outside to call his office and leave a message on his voice mail if he's not there.

Nelson, the only humane agent with full arrest powers in Mahoning County, said he tries to get to the scene of every animal cruelty and neglect complaint as soon as he can. If necessary, Nelson urges neighbors to provide food and water and bring suffering outdoor pets into their garages or basements for shelter. "A lot of the calls that we go on are animals that might not have any food out there or any water. In the last four days, we have not found any clean water in a bowl at any of the locations that we've been at. It's all been frozen. It needs to be changed constantly. They have to have that water in their system as well as food," Nelson said Wednesday. Nelson said that in the frigid weather we're having now, dogs should "be brought into a garage with no wind against the dog, or into a basement, absolutely without a doubt."Under law, someone who neglects a pet in the cold can be charged with animal cruelty, which is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $750 and up to 90 days in jail.

Under a new state law, signed recently by Gov. Bob Taft and taking effect April 1, the penalties for a first offense will rise to a first-degree misdemeanor, carrying up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail with psychiatric counseling. Under the new law, repeat offenses are fifth-degree felonies punishable by up to two years in jail and a $2,500 fine for a person and $7,500 for a pet store, with psychiatric counseling and a ban on animal ownership.

Seven of the 14 dead dogs he saw were chained to plastic doghouses, which protect animals from the rain, but don't offer adequate protection from the cold, Nelson said. Nine of the 14 were short-haired dogs, he added. The breeds found dead include German shepherds, Rottweilers and at least four
pit bulldogs. "A PLASTIC DOGHOUSE, FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON, CONTAINS THAT COLD AND KEEPS IT IN THERE. Because all the plastic domes that we have found, we have found dead animals inside frozen to death." Nelson said that wooden doghouses offer much better protection.

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