Leaving pets outside in the winter could cost you a $500 fine

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As winter storm Jonas approaches and temperatures drop, Montgomery County Animal Services in Maryland, near Washington, D.C., plan to enforce an ordinance that prohibits leaving pets outside in extreme weather — and advises pet owners to bring pets indoors. 

Read more: 7 tips to keep your pets safe this winter

According to the Montgomery County Government website, pet owners will be faced with a $500 fine for violating the ordinance. 

Section II-C of the regulation states that ‘a person must not tether a dog under circumstances that endanger its health, safety, or well-being including: unattended tethering of the dog during a weather emergency.’ This ordinance is put into effect during extreme weather conditions that can be very dangerous for dogs and other animals, such as high heat and humidity, as well as extreme cold, wind and heavy snow.

The county also suggests that livestock animals should have a place to find shelter out of the wind and also to dry bedding ‘to protect them from frostbite.’

‘Even animals that are accustomed to living outdoors can be susceptible to the dangers of cold weather,’ they said. 

The officers urge residents to call them directly if they see an animal left outside that appears to be in danger. 

Read more: 49 winter hacks to help you stay warm and save money

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