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Indianapolis group reminding pet owners of cold weather ordinance

fido friends of indianapolis dogs outside
Posted at 5:09 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 17:09:53-05

INDIANAPOLIS — With temperatures expected to drop, Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside, or FIDO, is reminding Hoosiers of laws meant to protect our furry friends.

“It really becomes life threatening when dogs are kept outside when temperatures get that cold, under 20 degrees. There is a local dog care and treatment ordinance in Indianapolis that requires people to get their dogs out of the cold when temperatures fall below 20 degrees, so we’re trying to get the word out," Darcie Kurtz, Executive Director at FIDO, said.

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You could face fines or jail time if you fail to properly care for your pets in cold weather.

Kurtz says dogs with short fur especially can't stay warm when temperatures get into the teens and single digits.

FIDO has a helpline, 317-221-1314, to provide help to those who need it or for people to report concerns.

FIDO also wants community members who see dogs living outside or outside in cold temperatures to contact FIDO or Request Indy.

"It's a win-win if people call us if they need our help and we will help them bring their dogs inside," Kurtz said. "We don't want these dogs suffering and we don't want these dogs dying out in these frigid temperatures, and that can happen."

For more about FIDO, click here.

Here are a few tips from Indianapolis Animal Care Services to keep your pets safe and warm :

  • The best place for your pet is inside, but if kept outdoors, your pet must have access to dry shelter. A structure with space to move around will help shield animals from the cold winter air.
  • Keep animals warm and safe by using straw in outdoor shelters. Blankets and towels draw moisture and don’t provide as much insulation and warmth as straw.
  • Animals are just as susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite as people. Bring them inside as often as you can and, when nature calls, accompany them when they venture outdoors.
  • Keep water available outside and check the dish every few hours to make sure it hasn’t frozen over. Consider investing in a heated water dish to avoid the hassle of a frozen water bowl.