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City issues 21 violations after responding to 360 animal neglect calls since February 4

Below freezing temperatures are dangerous for pets
Reminder: Bring pets indoors when temps drop
Posted at 11:26 AM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 11:35:22-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Animal Care Services has cited pet owners for leaving animals out in the frigid temperatures.

Since February 4, IACS issued 21 care and treatment violations and responded to 360 reports of neglect.

A new animal care and treatment ordinance went into effect in September 2015, and requires dog owners to bring their animals inside when the temperature hits 20 degrees or below.

A spokesperson for the agency says they do not separate cold weather calls out, but most of the calls were for animals left out in the cold.

Over the weekend, Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside helped the city triage some of the complaints.

“FIDO went out and reported back to us on what they found so we could prioritize our responses,” said Brandi Pahl, spokesperson for IACS. “If FIDO came across dogs outside in the cold, they educated the owners, offered resources when appropriate, or reported back to ACS.”

Here’s how you can help:

  • If you see a dog left outside, check back a few times to make sure it’s not just using the bathroom or going outside for a short period of time
  • Reporting only animals in danger will greatly help reduce the backlog of calls for dogs that aren’t in danger
  • Use the RequestIndy app or website to report an animal-related complaint
  • You can also call the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4622

Here’s what the law states:


It is against the law to chain your dog if any of the following is true:

  • Your dog is less than 6 months old
  • Your dog is sick or injured
  • It is between 11 pm and 6 am
  • Your dog is not spayed or neutered (unless your dog is within eyesight)


  • Dog must have adequate space for exercise; at least 100 square feet
  • Any dog over 80 pounds must have 150 square feet
  • Add extra 50 square feet for each additional dog


Dog must have access to:

  • Shelter constructed of solid, weather-resistant materials
  • Dry floor raised above the ground
  • Roof sloped away from entrance


Dog must be brought inside temperature-controlled building if:

  • Temperature outside is 20 degrees and below
  • Temperature outside is 90 degrees and above
  • There’s a heat advisory
  • There’s a wind chill warning
  • There’s a tornado warning


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