Laws Protecting Dogs Left Outside in the Cold

There have been many laws passed protecting dogs left outside in the cold in recent years.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf worked to strengthen laws protecting dogs left outside in the cold in 2017. His work included passing Libre’s Law.

Under Libre’s Law, a dog cannot be left leashed for longer than 30 minutes in cold weather temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Libre’s Law also prohibits dogs from being leashed alone outside for longer than 30 minutes in temperatures above 90 degrees. This is similar to many hot car laws passed in previous years.

laws protecting dogs left outside in the cold

People found violating these laws could be fined up to $750 and face up to three months of jail time. Even more severe violators face felony charges and fines up to $15,000, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Pennsylvania is not the only state with laws protecting dogs from being left outside in the cold.

Other states including New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. have worked to pass new legislation to enforce punishment against animal cruelty.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Standard of Care for Animals Amendment Act of 2017 after a dog was left outside for days in 9 degrees Fahrenheit. This act “establishes under what extreme weather conditions that keeping animals outside would constitute cruelty to animals.”

law protecting dogs left outside in the cold
pc: Campbell Law Observer – Libre’s Law

Many people consider Libre’s Law to be the catalyst for creating more laws protecting dogs left outside in the cold.

Libre’s Law is also one with a special story. The law was named after Boston Terrier puppy, Libre, who was found abandoned at a farm one winter. Libre made a full recovery and started a greater conversation about laws protecting dogs left outside in the cold, and animal rights as a whole.

As colder weather approaches, it’s really important to keep these laws in mind and be aware of what you can do if you see an animal in need!

What to do if you see a dog left outside in the cold

We turned to our friends at the Humane Society for advice, and this is what they suggest if you see a pet left outside in the cold.

#1. Report What You See. 

Take note of the time, date, and your exact location, along with the types of animals involved. Cell phone photos and videos are highly encouraged.

#2. Contact Your Local Animal Control Agency or the County Sheriff’s Office

Next, present your complaints and evidence gathered to the resource officer on duty. Be sure to make a respectful follow-up within a few days if the situation hasn’t been remedied.

#3. Get Expert Advice

Lastly, the Humane Society also suggests contacting the HSUS or emailing them directly. Because they are not a law-enforcement agency, they cannot take legal action but are there to provide expert counsel.

ways to report dogs left outside left in cold
pc: shutterstock