Low temperatures and low empathy don’t mix well at all. A dog in Ohio froze to death after being kept outside in a kennel without insulation. The local sheriff’s office will charge the neglectful owners, who have remained unnamed, with companion animal cruelty.
Ohio law 959.13, section A, paragraph 2 states that “No person shall impound or confine an animal without affording it, during such confinement, access to shelter from wind, rain, snow, or excessive direct sunlight if it can reasonably be expected that the animals would otherwise become sick or in some other way suffer.” It is safe to say that temperatures well under 0 degrees Celsius would constitute a reasonable expectation of danger to the animal’s health, which apparently didn’t occur to the dog’s owners.
Things are about to get worse in the US, as far as cold weather is concerned. Meteorologists predict that the lowest temperatures of this winter haven’t even hit yet. The American North East will stay in deep freeze for weeks to come. With -8 degrees Celsius in NYC, and -14 in Minneapolis, and the forecast looking grim, animals need all the protection they can get. Fur alone is not enough to do the trick during prolonged exposure to such cold, not to mention the many breeds of dog that don’t come with arctic shag to keep them warm.
The Butler County Sheriff’s Office urged owners to protect their animals from the harsh weather. Not everyone needs to coddle their pets excessively, but there’s a clear limit between a working relationship with a domestic animal, and exploitation. The Sheriff’s Office Dog Warden is available to help owners who cannot afford to provide adequate shelter for their animals in such extreme weather. People who are concerned about the way someone else is treating their pets or domestic animals can also get in touch with the Sheriff’s office, under protection of anonymity.