Winter has arrived! – Animal Rescue League of Boston

ARL receives reports of animals kept outside during cold winter weather

Although the winter has been relatively mild so far, we have experienced many days and nights with temperatures below freezing, and our first winter storm is also on the horizon.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has already received a number of calls from concerned citizens regarding animals left out in the cold, and would like to remind the public that when the mercury drops, laws are in place to protect animals. animals, including ban. excessive attachment.

According to Massachusetts General Law Ch. 140, Section 174E, Subsection D:

No person shall leave a dog outside when a weather advisory, warning or watch is issued by a local, state or federal authority or when outdoor environmental conditions include, but are not limited to, extreme heat, cold, wind, rain, snow or hail. present a negative risk to the health or safety of the dog because of its breed, age or physical condition, unless the tether lasts no more than 15 minutes.

Under this law, any law enforcement officer, including special law enforcement agents with the ARL, has the authority to issue citations or warnings to property owners who fail to comply: $50 for first offense, $100 for second offense, $300 and possible loss of property for third or subsequent offenses.

Winter is here, and it’s up to us to protect our pets and include them in winter storm preparations as well.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind to keep pets safe:

  1. Prepare your dog for the elements. If you have a longer-haired dog, let him grow out for the winter; For short-haired dogs, sweaters, coats and booties can go a long way in protecting your dog.
  2. Wipe your dog’s paws and belly. Chemicals used to treat sidewalks can irritate your dog’s paws and be toxic if ingested. When you come in from the cold, clean and dry your dog’s stomach to keep him healthy!
  3. Keep outdoor trips quick. Bathroom breaks or walks, keep them short and sweet and keep your pets indoors as much as possible.
  4. Never leave your dog alone in a cold car. Temperatures inside a car can drop when the engine is off. Just as it is illegal in Massachusetts to leave an animal in a hot car, it is also illegal to leave an animal in a car in extremely cold weather. When you go out, leave your pets at home.
  5. Pay attention to your pet’s grooming and health. An animal with matted fur cannot keep warm! Older pets also suffer from increased arthritic pain in cold weather, so check with your veterinarian about keeping your pet comfortable.
  6. Check under the hood. Cats love to warm up under the hood of a car because the residual heat from the engine burns off. Always knock on the hood of your vehicle and do a quick visual check before starting the engine.

Ultimately, if it’s too cold for you to be outside, it’s also too cold for your pet to be outside.


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