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Officials Remind Residents Not To Leave Pets Outside During Cold Snap

Local authorities are urging pet owners to bring their animals inside during this freezing weather, saying that leaving a pet in the frigid cold is a crime.

Officials with the Washington Humane Society say when the temperature drops, too many cats and dogs are left outside with no food or shelter. Daniel Duremo, a senior law enforcement officer with the group, says that many owners are under the misconception that domestic animals such as dogs are suited for colder temperatures and need no special attention.

"Some people just don't understand that a dog's fur coat doesn't do as much to keep them warm as they think it does. When you start thinking about one, two, three, or four hours outside in this weather, an animal can get really cold in that amount of time," he says.

Duremo also warns that leaving a pet outside in extremely cold weather can get you thrown in jail.

"If you leave your dog outside in the cold without appropriate shelter, you're putting yourself and the animal at risk of being impounded and criminal charges being filed," he says.

If you see what appears to be a pet left in the cold, you're urged to call your local animal control center, or the Humane Society.

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