Prohibit Owners from Leaving Dogs in the Cold

Target: Muncie City Council Member, Alison Quirk

Goal: Make it illegal for owners to leave their animals outside in cold temperatures.

As the season’s first blizzard stormed through America’s east coast, animal shelters and law enforcement received several complaints from residents about dogs trapped in the snow. In many of these cases, owners willfully left animals outside without adequate shelter. As a result, the Director of Muncie Animal Shelter in Muncie Indiana, Phil Peckinpaugh, plans to work with the Muncie City Council to stop owners from leaving pets outside in under 20-degree Fahrenheit weather.

Peckinpaugh revealed that his team receives as much as 10 calls each day during the winter, most of which turn up poor findings. Often times, the only protections given to these animals are cardboard boxes or old cars. In some instances, the owners have built proper housing for the animals, but this does not ensure protection from the cold when temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Volunteers do their best to help but, since there are no laws in place against leaving animals in these conditions, there is usually nothing they can do to rectify the situation. If this new ordinance is made, even owners who build doghouses for their pets would need to bring dogs into a building when temperatures fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The building could be a garage, shed, the house, or a barn – as long as it protects the animals from the chilling wind.

Peckinpaugh plans to propose the ordinance to the Muncie City Council on February 1, 2016. Show your support for his proposal by signing the petition to ban residents from leaving animals out in the cold. This not only helps the animal shelter to act on reports made by callers but also discourages residents from neglecting their pets in the first place.


Dear Muncie City Council Member Quirk,

It recently came to my attention that your city is struggling with animal cruelty cases. In many of these incidents, residents leave dogs in snowed-in backyards to brave the biting cold on their own. Phil Peckinpaugh, the Director of Muncie Animal Shelter, intends to propose an ordinance that amends the current animal care laws in Muncie City.

This ordinance would ban owners from leaving dogs out in temperatures under 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It would also put in place fines of up to $100 for those who do. According to Peckinpaugh, the shelter already receives up to 10 calls each day, regarding cases of animals neglected in the cold. Keep in mind that as the U.S. braces for the mid-winter temperatures and the blizzards it often brings, the number of calls – and deaths – will rise.

We urge you to accept Peckinpaugh’s proposal to help protect innocent animals. Not only will this amendment help the animal shelter to take action when pets are neglected, but it helps to discourage owners from doing this in the first place. This will give both the animal shelter and law enforcement the opportunity to refocus resources on other pressing issues.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: CC0 Public Domain

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  2. These dogs should be taken away from her. Please watch over them and make sure they are well taken care of. Better yet, can you adopt them?

  3. Why isn’t this illegal?!

  4. Animals are part of your family! You
    wouldn’t leave your child outside in
    the cold so why would you leave the family pet outside. Remember dogs
    feel, breathe bleed and suffer just as
    humans do !!!! Have a heart and be
    a responsible, caring human being !!!

  5. Spay and neuter the owners by force. Go to such houses and handcuff all adults. Drag them off and immediately sterilize them. Hillbillies all over the country require breeding to set up income from men and the govt. Bitches might actually get jobs. Put animals inside w food and water sterilize the owners. Check on the dogs and remove them if humans dont do their jobs.

  6. The fact that one even NEEDS any formal laws to enforce common sense and heart, is always the most chilling commentary on the inferior human race. Anyone who leaves any animal out in the cold (or conversely, extreme heat or other bad weather-related conditions) while parking their OWN a**es safely indoors, should also be faced with SEIZURE of said animals, a ban on keeping any more, and a fine WAY above a paltry $100!!! (that should also be PER animal left in such “distress” and “peril”)

    As for leaving then in garages or other outbuildings, even that’s not any guarantee of safety or comfort, depending on the structure, and if no warm (or cooling) enough bedding is supplied. How we even evolved from huddling around an open fire is beyond me, if humans are THAT senseless!!!


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