“WTF…if your cold, the chances are your dog is freezing it’s bit’s off too; unless your dog is a Saint Bernard who is used to living in freezing conditions. Besides if you have a dog, it should be in your home & part of your family! If it’s just a garden ornament then you don’t deserve to have an animal with the capability of unconditional love! A dog is a family pet, so treat it like one, not just a cheap alarm system!”

By    Jeff Wagner – Updated: Thursday, January 9

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Criminal charges were being pursued after two dog owners left their dogs outside in the cold and the animals froze to death, officials from Animal Care and Control said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, an Animal Care and Control worker told 24-Hour News 8 that as many as seven dogs froze to death in Marion County this week. Officials clarified that number on Wednesday.

Two dogs with a home died, and an unknown number of stray dogs also froze to death, officials said. The volume of phone calls into Marion County Animal Care and Control made it difficult to pinpoint the exact number. The remains of stray dogs are cleaned up by the Indianapolis Department of Public Works.

The dangerous temperatures are taking a toll on pets.

Animal Control officers had been called out because two pet dogs in Marion County had been left outside in the frigid conditions and died.

Animal Care and Control said they had a constant stream of phone calls since 10 a.m. Sunday.

People have called Animal Care and Control for a number of issues, including help with cats, horses, goats and exotic birds.

Indianapolis Animal control officers wrote more than 70 citations during the storm, ranging from a dog being left outside to one not having updated tags.

But when a pet dies, it becomes a criminal case.

On a warmer but still snow covered day in Indianapolis, 24-Hour News 8 thought it would be a long shot to find a pet left out in the cold but that idea was wrong.

24-Hour News 8’s Jeff Wagner found a dog named Chance, and luckily she was only roaming a few houses down from where she lived.

“She has come back every time I’ve clapped my hands, but as soon as I walk outside then she takes off, she’s been taking off all morning,” said owner Beverly Patton.

She said a frozen leash, combined with Chance’s love for running are the only reasons we found her alone outside.

“I cannot imagine leaving your dogs out, that’s like people,” she said.

But unfortunately some owners did.

“You need to bring them in or we will confiscate them for their safety,” said Dan Shackle, administrator for Indianapolis Animal Care & Control.

His officers did confiscate a few pets during the storm. Some dogs were found with frostbite on their paws or ears. Often times their water bowls were frozen over.

Those dogs now in kennels, just like the others who are hoping to get adopted. But unfortunately, two pet dogs didn’t survive while outside, meaning their owners could face criminal charges.

“Depending on the facts in the individual case it could either be an ‘A’ misdemeanor or ‘D’ felony,” he said.

Shackle hopes justice is served in those cases. But mainly, he just wants owners to take better care of their pets.

“When you ask if I’m glad that only two died, yes I’m glad more of them didn’t die, but the two shouldn’t have happened in the first place,” he said.

If a dog was confiscated, the owner will get a citation. They’ll have a date in court where a judge will determine what type of penalty they’ll face, like a fine.

The judge also has final say on whether or not the pet should be returned to the owner.

So what should you do if you see a pet left out in the cold?

The Humane Society says you should write down as many details as you can, even take pictures or video if it’s safe.

Then contact your local animal control or sheriff’s department. Make sure you also take notes and follow up if the situation doesn’t get better.

If you need advice on what to do you, click here.

If you see an animal in trouble in Indianapolis, you can call the Mayor’s Action Centre at 327-4-MAC.

You can also download the “Request Indy” app to submit a report.

For tips on keeping animals safe in the cold, click here.

Video & News Post:-http://www.wishtv.com/news/local/seven-dogs-freeze-to-death-in-marion-county

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