WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - People leaving their pets outside in these extremely cold temperatures could face some hefty fines.
Just like humans, your four-legged, furry friend can also suffer from recent frigid temperatures.
"Pets suffer from hypothermia and frostbite just like we do," Dr. Lorraine Corriveau from Purdue's Small Animal Hospital said. "Most experts would really agree that once the temperatures gets below 20 degrees, pets should really be brought inside."
Dr. Corriveau said all animals, both big and small, can experience hypothermia and frostbite in the matter of minutes.
"It kind of varies, but it doesn't necessarily have to take very long," Dr. Corriveau said. "Short walks outside and even some of those that are tendered foot, some booties they wear can also be helpful."
Dr. Corriveau said some signs pets may be experiencing stress from the cold weather include discoloration of their skin.
"Maybe those extremities on the top of their ears, the toes, the pads and those things kind of being exposed," Dr. Corriveau said. "They're going to maybe shiver or shake, they're going to be maybe a little more tired and they're not going to want to move around as much. Those are probably signs that you're going to want to get your pet inside."
"In West Lafayette we have an ordinance that provides for neglect of an animal which includes leaving an animal unintended out in the extreme weather or in a vehicle or something along those lines" West Lafayette Code Enforcement Supervisor Rick Walker said.
Those penalties for leaving your animals out in the cold could go even further.
"Somebody could be ticketed through county court and that's considered a misdemeanor and would take place in a Tippecanoe County court as opposed to the city court here in West Lafayette," Walker explained.
Walker said each scenario is different.
West Lafayette residents can be charged from $152 to $500 for leaving their pets outside.
He says if you notice any animals around your neighborhood being left out in the cold, call your local police department (Lafayette: 807-1200, West Lafayette: 775-5200) and someone from animal control will go check out the situation.
Residents in both Lafayette and Tippecanoe County can also face fines for leaving their animals out in the cold for long periods of time.
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