COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Ohio dog owners who leave their dogs outdoors in extreme cold temperatures may not be breaking the law.
But a bill to ban the practice of tethering dogs in extreme temperature, House Bill 94, is still waiting for approval at the Statehouse.
The Capital Area Humane Society spokesperson said many people think they can leave their dog outside in the extreme cold, but said it takes more than a dog house to protect them when temperatures fall.
“People think because they have fur they are safe and warm, but they are not, if you are cold your dog is cold,” said Mirna Bowman, an animal advocate.
She is with the rescue group Columbus Dog Connection. She is passionate about animal safety, saying many times in the winter she goes to homes on her own to check on social media complaints about dogs in danger.
“I typically go out there and try to talk to the owner see if they would like help for their dog, maybe educate them on why the dog needs to be inside or surrender the dog if they cannot care for them,” Bowman said.
The Capital Area Humane Society said they get 30 to 40 calls a day about tethered dogs left outside in freezing temperatures. Kerry Manion is their chief humane agent.
“The law is simply inadequate to deal with these extreme temperatures,” Manion said.
He said if your dog is outside and it is freezing it needs shelter with a straw bed, food and heated water bowl. It also needs a thick undercoat and not be a short-haired dog and a place out of the wind.
“Our main mission is to protect the animals and the animals well-being, so always trying to bridge that gap between what is legal animal care and what is humane and responsible animal care,” Manion said.Resources for local dog ownersThe Columbus Dog ConnectionThe Capital Area Humane SocietyThe Franklin County Dog Shelter