Another dog in the Philadelphia area was found frozen to death recently. The act of leaving a pet outside without food or adequate shelter receives less attention than a violent attack against an animal, but neglect is a crime. Especially in these cold months, it is important to bring pets inside and for people to report neglected animals to law enforcement. Without proper food and water, domesticated animals' chances of survival in frigid temperatures greatly decrease.

Here is what you can do if you see an animal outside during extreme temperatures:

Pass by the location if possible and see if the water is frozen. The law states all animals must have access to fresh water. In below-freezing temperatures, water usually is frozen within two hours.

Immediately call your municipal animal control service to request an inspection of the situation. In most cases, you can remain anonymous, but request a follow-up phone call. Most contracts require animal control to respond within 30-60 minutes. To find the number, call your township clerk or go online.

If you receive no phone call back from animal control, call your municipal clerk, report the address and let him or her know that you received no call back from animal control.

Most important, call back within two hours to follow up. Often, animal deaths occur because neighbors don't want to get involved or are afraid to report a neighbor. If you talk to other neighbors about the situation, it can often be a group watch effort. Don't give up.

Taking a few minutes, and these few steps might save another life.


Animal Guardian Angels