As I said in my previous post today, the vicious winters are being really hard on dogs. In Ohio, an 83-year-old man surrendered his two Beagles to local authorities because of outrage among his neighbors and on social media over his leaving the dogs outside in cold weather.
The police department in Youngstown, Ohio, received calls and complaints from all over the country, thanks to pictures of the dogs that were posted online. On Monday, the owner brought them in to the Mahoning County Dog Warden’s Office, saying that he was tired of the pressure.
“He said he doesn’t want to take any more heat,” said Deputy Dog Warden Dave Nelson.
The two Beagles, Bo and Bob, lived in a small outdoor cage, separated from each other by chicken wire. Despite the conditions, Nelson says there’s nothing that he or the police could have done about the dogs.
“Legally he didn’t do anything wrong,” Nelson told WFMJ. “I wouldn’t be able to charge him. He had a license, he had proper shelter, he had food and water that were in the bowls out there.”
Because their owner used them for hunting, the Beagles are technically classed as “work dogs,” which means that they can be kept outside as long as they’re sheltered from the wind and have food and water. As long as those minimum requirements are met, the only thing that authorities can do is recommend an owner bring a dog inside.
Chris Flak, an agent with Animal Charity who visited the house when the owner was out, says his group has seen many cases of animals being left outside in extreme weather. Legislation creating stricter standards did pass the Ohio House of Representatives in December, but it still needs to pass the state Senate before going to the governor for signature or veto.
In the meantime, Bo and Bob have been transferred to Angels for Animals, a local rescue organization, and are with a foster family until they’re rehomed.
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