We've had some really cold weather here on the east coast lately! If you're like me, and are a member of any animal related groups on social media, you've probably seen numerous posts about taking your pets indoors during extreme weather conditions. Seems like common sense I know, but unfortunately there are owners who leave pets outdoors even when it's extremely cold, or hot, out. But soon pets left out in the cold in NJ could have the law on their side. News 12 NJ recently reported on a proposed new ordinance that would require pet owners to bring their pets indoors when temperatures outdoors are extreme. It may also help to establish new standards for outdoor shelters.
The proposed ordinance would require pets to be taken indoors if temperatures dip below 30*F, or raise above 90*F. For some owners, even those standards are a bit too lax. Depending on an animals breed and individual tolerances, being left outdoors in temperatures slightly above 30*F, or just below 90*F, may still prove to be too much.
Pets really shouldn't be left outdoors without access to adequate shelter no matter what the temperatures are. Even animals who are commonly kept outdoors, such as farm animals, should have a place they can get to where they will be fully protected from things like bad weather, humans with ill intentions, and predators.
Extreme temperatures can prove deadly for pets. If you come across an animal being kept outdoors during extreme heat or cold, especially if it doesn't have access to adequate shelter, food, and water, report the situation to your local law enforcement agencies. Currently there are no laws stating that pets must be brought indoors in certain weather conditions, but animal neglect is still a misdemeanor crime throughout the US. If your local animal control deems that an animal is being neglected, they should be able to step in and help it.
What do you think about the proposed NJ legislation? Do you think an ordinance stating that pets must be taken indoors if temps go below 30*F or above 90*F is strict enough? If not, what changes would you make?