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Pets and freezing temperatures

Pets and freezing temperatures

A new Illinois law aims to keep pets safe.

KHQA spoke with a Tri-State pet owner about the new law and how it relates to this weekend's snow storm.

Every morning Mark Kinne takes his dog Hachi for a walk in the park.

"He'll be two years old in February. Loves the outdoors. Loves it! Loves to run. loves to play," Kinne said.

Kinne said he usually takes two laps around the park--staying mindful of the cold weather.

But not every owner is responsible like Kinne. That's why a new state law keeps animals left in the cold safe.

Animal Control Officer Steve Scherer said the new law better defines cruel treatment in extreme temperatures.

"A law enforcement officer can take custody," Officer Scherer stated.

Now an officer can go onto your property and temporarily take custody of the animal.

"That's a good law," Kinne said.

And Kinne said he's glad for it.

"I haven't seen them personally but I've seen them posted on Facebook, you know people leaving their dogs out and my opinion on that is would you want to be left out in this weather on a chain? With no good shelter and water? Food? Not me," Kinne exclaimed.

Officer Scherer says there is a level of common sense when it comes to neglect.

A Siberian Husky is made for the cold and prefers to stay outside. But even thick-coated dogs will eventually get cold.

"They need straw," Officer Scherer said.

Officer Scherer suggested having a dog house and some straw to keep your pet warm. They should also have access to water.

"It's sad. It's actually sad. I mean I can't believe somebody would do that to an animal. I really can't. You know they can't tell you if their hungry or cold or wet. You know all they know is, like him whining now that he wants to walk," Kinne said.

The law only applies to law enforcement officers to take custody of an animal.

If you see an animal left out in the cold with obvious signs of neglect, contact animal control immediately.

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