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Reminder: Bring your pets inside if the temp drops below 20 degrees

Reminder: Bring pets indoors when temps drop
Posted at 1:55 PM, Nov 11, 2019
and last updated 2020-02-14 09:57:44-05

INDIANAPOLIS — With temps expected to dip into the teens overnight, animal advocates are reminding pet owners to do the right thing and bring their four-legged friends inside.

In Indianapolis, it is illegal to leave your pets outside when the temperature is at or below 20 degrees or when there is a wind chill warning. The ordinance is punishable with a fine of more than $25 for a first offense and up to $200 for future offenses. Those who violate the ordinance more than once could also lose their pets.

TIPS | What to do if you see a pet left out in the cold

Marion County Animal Care and Control can impound dogs it believes are in need of care and treatment. If you suspect animal neglect or know of an animal that is being left out in the cold you can call 317-327-4622 to report it.

The law states the following in regards to tethering, shelter and what to do in extreme cold temperatures:


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


Your dog must also 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


Dogs must have access to:

  • Shelter constructed of solid, weather resistant materials
  • Shelter constructed of solid, weather resistant materials
  • Roof sloped away from entrance


Dogs must be brought inside a temperature controlled building if:

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