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Humane Society Checks On Outdoor Dogs During Cold Spell

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By Mana Rabiee

This week's weather is not as severe as last month's blizzard, but the Washington Humane Society is reminding pet owners to bring their outdoor animals in from the cold.

Humane Law Enforcement Officer Ann Russell drives her White Chevy Suburban down a back alley of northwest D.C. She's checking up on a pit bull the owner's neighbors were concerned about during the blizzard.

"The dog was out with improper shelter and they claim the dog was an indoor-outdoor dog and they were going to bring the dog straight in," says Russell. "Just trying to follow up on it make sure the dog is not always kept out in the cold with that improper shelter."

Russell gets a lot of calls about this breed, but she says their lean muscle tone and very short coat makes them susceptible to the cold. Even a German Shepherd, she says, struggles to stay warm outside overnight.

Russell drives to another back yard to check on an Aquita-type dog. The owner looks on from a window.

"Looks like he's safe and fine. He's got his little dog house so I'm gonna roll out," she says. "He's in compliance with the law."

D.C. law requires all owners of outdoor dogs to provide adequate shelter during extreme cold temperatures.

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