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Police Animal Services Division Enforces Weather-Related Anti-Cruelty Conditions for Animals; Owners Can Be Charged Hefty Fines for Leaving Pets Outdoors During Extreme Cold

For Immediate Release: Friday, January 12, 2018

Under the authority of Director of the Montgomery County Police Animal Services Division (ASD) Thomas J. Koenig, the ASD enforces Executive Regulation 10-10AM, Anti-Cruelty Conditions for Dogs during periods of extreme temperatures, whether cold or heat. During extreme weather, any pet must not be left outside unattended. Furthermore, leaving animals outside unattended in such 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 that regularly spend long periods of time outdoors must have access to shelter to properly protect them from the elements, and during extreme temperatures they should be brought indoors. 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
Websiteor follow onFacebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The Animal Services Division operates the Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center. 

Media Contacts: 



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Release ID: 18-439
Media Contact: Katherine Zenzano 240-773-5565