Dec 17, 2013
05:03 AM
Connecticut Today

Bring Pets Inside During Severe Weather or Face Fines

Bring Pets Inside During Severe Weather or Face Fines

Catherine Avalone - The Middletown Press

The owners of Gam, a lab-greyhound mix, agree with the state’s tethering law prohibiting owners from chaining dogs during severe weather.

Pet owners be warned: leave Fido out during severe weather and face up to $500 in fines.

New state laws became effective July 1 strengthening what are known as “tethering” laws, which prohibit owners from tying or chaining dogs outside during certain weather conditions, including watches, advisories or warnings of an approaching thunderstorm, tornado, winter storm, high heat or wind chill. Owners can be fined $100 for a first offense and as much as $500 for repeat offenders.

The law also prohibits chaining that may pose a risk to the health or safety of an animal based on breed, age or physical condition during severe weather, such as heat, cold, wind, rain, snow or hail.

Middletown Animal Control Officer Gail Petras said the new laws are a relief for animal control, which in the past had to rely on animal cruelty statutes, “if the dog was suffering,” Petras said. “Now we can step in before the dog is suffering. We can educate people in a better way to care for their dog.”

Things have to get pretty bad for a pet owner to be charged with cruelty, Petras said. “This helps us step in before it’s that bad.”

Even so, frigid, stormy weather is no place for a dog.

“People just don’t understand,” Petras said. “They think a dog is fine if they have a doghouse. That doesn’t really protect them in severe weather especially snow.”

Petras explained that dogs can easily get frostbite, especially on their noses, the tips of their ears and the pads of their feet.

“If the dog has short fur, they just can’t keep themselves warm,” Petras said. “It’s one of the worst situations for a dog.”

For more of this story, visit the Middletown Press.

 

Bring Pets Inside During Severe Weather or Face Fines

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