Philadelphia fining people who turn their pets into pup-cicles

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 Lilly, 8, wears a coat for her walk in Washington Square Park Tuesday. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Lilly, 8, wears a coat for her walk in Washington Square Park Tuesday. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

When Philadelphia declares a Code Blue it also can invoke a little-known law to crack down on people who leave pets out in the cold.

Tara Schernecke, Assistant Director of Operations for the Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia says they have already fined 20 pet owners this year and did 60 in 2015. For a pet to be outside a house, there are minimum standards.

“A doghouse that is insulated that is actually situated off the ground. There has to be to be some protection in the front of the doghouse like plastic or some kind of a flap.”

Fines for leaving pets in the cold are $25.

Vince Thawley is an emergency medicine Veterinarian at the University of Pennsylvania. He says with snow on the way people should look for ice melting crystals between their a pet’s paw pads.

“We generally recommend after doing a walk to bring them in and wash and dry their feet,” he said.

There are also ice melters that are marketed as being safer for pet.

 

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