Animal Control warns of consequences for leaving pets out in col - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Animal Control warns of consequences for leaving pets out in cold

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MERCER COUNTY, WV (WVVA) -

The Mercer County Animal Shelter says they've rescued 10 dogs this week who were left outside without proper shelter in freezing temperatures.

"The phones have been ringing off the hooks over people that have been leaving their dogs out that don't have any shelter," says Director of Animal Control Elizabeth Morehead. "It is absolutely too cold outside for any animal to not have any shelter."

West Virginia State law requires that any dog kept outside have a sustainable shelter.

In Bluefield, Animal Control Director Lori Mills says there are specific requirements for the shelter.

"It must be a four sided structure," Mills says. "It has to have a roof with an opening large enough for the dog to go in and out, and it also has to have a wind flap"

Mills also suggested using a wooden dog house as they are better for insulation.

"Many, many times, we have gone to a residence and they have just the medal crate with the blue tarp over top, and that does not meet our requirements for a proper shelter." 

If your pet is left outdoors without a shelter it can be siezed and you can also be subject to face animal cruelty charges. 

Both Mills and Morehead also suggest that you feed your dog extra helpings in the winter time.

"When it's cold outside and dogs are outside, they're burning extra calories to stay warm," Mills said. "It's always a good idea to give them an extra serving of food to help them maintain a good weight and stay healthy."

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