WENY News - Cold weather affecting animals left outside

Cold weather affecting animals left outside

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- With record low temperatures sweeping the Twin Tiers, many people find themselves bracing for the cold. 

But what about your four-legged companion?

According to New York State, you can only keep your animals outside in the cold if you follow certain guidelines.

"State lawmakers did pass a law in 2003 that requires pet owners to provide shelter appropriate for the animal's breed, size and the climate," said Chemung County SPCA Community Engagement Manager, Arynn Brucie. "As well as making sure that they have drinking water that's not going to be frozen. So you can get prosecuted if you leave your dog outside without appropriate shelter or water."

Unlike Pennsylvania, New York has yet to pass a law limiting the amount of time animals can be left out in the cold.

So when temperatures drop overnight, any animal left outside may be at risk, regardless of whether or not their owners are following the law. 

"It really is inhumane to leave your dog out, or even your cat, when it's this cold," said Brucie. "They have extremities just like we do. They can lose ears, they could lose tails. Frostbite is just as prevalent for them as it is for humans. So making sure that they're warm inside is really your best bet to make sure that your animal's safe."

If it's really cold out, it can actually be deadly. 

"Hearts can stop, seizing can happen when they're extremely cold," said Brucie. "So things like that are really something to keep in mind. An animal can literally freeze to death. So please bring your pets inside."

So when your pets are outside, think about their safety. 

Even though they have fur, doesn't mean they're not affected by the cold.

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