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The Police Animal Services Division Continues to Enforce Weather-Related Anti-Cruelty Conditions for Animals; Owners Can Be Charged Hefty Fines for Leaving Pets Outdoors in Frigid Temperatures

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Due to an extended period of extreme cold temperatures, the Montgomery County Police Animal Services Division (ASD) is continuing to enforce Executive Regulation 10-10AM, Anti-Cruelty Conditions for Dogs. Director of Animal Services Division Thomas J. Koenig is notifying residents that animals must not be left outside unattended. Furthermore, leaving animals left outside unattended in these conditions may be considered an act of cruelty and pet owners could be charged accordingly. 


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.” The enforcement of this regulation is put into effect during periods of high heat and humidity, and during conditions of extreme cold, wind, and heavy snow which can all be damaging to dogs and other animals. Dogs spending a period of time outdoors must have access to shelter to properly protect them from the elements. The penalty for this violation is a $500 fine. 


Montgomery County Police Animal Services officers want to remind citizens to be particularly careful with all pets during this time period of record cold. The best advice during periods of extreme weather conditions is to bring your pets indoors. Even animals that are accustomed to living outdoors can be susceptible to the dangers of extreme cold weather. Livestock animals should have a place to get out of the wind and dry bedding must be provided to protect them from frostbite.   


ASD Officers will be on-call, patrolling neighborhoods and responding to any animal-related emergencies. If you see an animal left outside that appears to be in danger, please call the Animal Services Division immediately at 301-279-8000.


About the Montgomery County Police Animal Services Division 
The Animals Services Division (ASD) provides high-standard sheltering and care to the homeless animals in our community and ensures the safety and welfare of the County’s citizens. Through adoptions, education, outreach, and more, the ASD serves as a critical community resource to promote and advocate for responsible pet care. Animal Services Officers are on duty seven days a week to investigate citizen complaints and respond to animal emergencies 24 hours a day. Find more information at the MSAC
Website or follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The Animal Services Division operates the Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center. 


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Release ID: 18-439
Media Contact: Katherine Zenzano 240-773-5656