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Tips on how to protect your pets in bitter cold temperatures

With subfreezing temperatures in the forecast, it's important to remember a few things before letting your dogs outside.

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — Subfreezing temperatures are in the forecast, and for animals that might spend most of their time outside, that's dangerous.

Humane Officer Vickie VanGorder at the Luzerne County SPCA has a reminder for all dog owners out there.

"This is common sense. If you're cold, the animals are cold," said VanGorder. "So take them inside. they could be outside for short periods of time to go to the bathroom, get a little bit of exercise, but get them back in."

Libre's Law says a dog cannot be caged or tethered outside in weather under 32 degrees for more than 30 minutes. 

In Luzerne County, there's an ordinance that changes that to 26 degrees. 

Either way, it's not good to leave your furry friends unattended outside in the cold.

"They could be potentially exposed to frostbite, freeze, lost, stolen. They could pass away outside without your parents without you noticing that they're there," added VanGorder.

VanGorder also says the phones are busy this time of year at the SPCA, and with only two officers on staff, they need your help if you see something happening in your neighborhood that breaks these laws.

"Any person that is willing to come forward to report that needs to get documentation whether it be on video, and or photos that have a timestamp and be willing to testify. Without that, we don't have anything to go on unless we can prove it ourselves," explained Van Gorder.

In many cases, officers here don't have the time to do.

"You can also contact your local police department; they could cite the people as well," added VanGorder.

If you have a dog that likes the snow and cold, it's OK to play outside. Humane officers recommend staying with your dog to make sure they are looked after and stay safe.

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