Metro Animal Control Helping Pets Left In Cold
by Janet Kim
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Arctic temperatures over our area for the past two days have created a wintry landscape in Middle Tennessee and forced many outside pets to endure the elements. The problem has forced Metro Animal Control to intervene.
In the last two days, Metro Animal Control officials said they have received more than 100 calls, reports of dogs or cats being left outside in the single digit temperatures. It's an offense that could lead to serious charges against an owner.
"What we can do if they don't have a house and things are not right and the dog is in bad shape, then we can do anything up to educate all the way up to seizing the animal," said Billy Biggs, an officer with Metro Animal Control.
It's the kind of cold you can almost see and most certainly feel. A deep freeze that's putting the heat on pet owners, as Metro Animal Control officers respond to an increased number of calls of cruelty and neglect.
The problem has been so severe, even everyday citizens are taking matters into their own hands.
"Individuals have called Metro and there are people who are making an effort, whether that means jumping a fence or talking to the owner to try to get those dogs in," said Jennifer Hagan-Dier, the founder of Vik's Hideout.
Offenders leaving their animals out without shelter or food during these cold temperatures could receive anything from a note on the door as a warning to even felony charges of animal cruelty and neglect.
Before you call animal control, keep in mind that the law allows for dogs to be left outside if they have shelter, which is a dog house with three sides, a roof and a floor.