Lawmakers look for cold weather guidelines for animals

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Humane agencies are getting flooded with calls about animals being left outside in the freezing temperatures. Mary Louk, president of Animal Charities, said they have even gotten calls from across the country about the same address.

Louk and Diane Fry, with the Mahoning County Dog Wardens Office, say the results are often the same when they investigate the complaints. No laws are being broken and their hands are tied.

“Some of these laws aren’t as tight or maybe not have a bite like they could and that holds us back,” Fry said.

Animal advocates want to see language added to state regulations specifically defining what an animal shelter is. Others want limits placed on how long animals can be kept outside when it is too cold or too hot.

“When it is below this temperature you need to bring your dogs in, and if you don’t bring your dogs in, you are going to get a fine and your dog can be taken,” Louk said.

Ohio State Senator Joe Schiavoni said he and his staff are looking at existing laws and comparing them to what other states have on their books.

“I think this needs to be thought out properly so that we don’t run into a problem where everybody can poke holes in it and then it becomes just a bill that has no shot,” Schiavoni said.

Schiavoni plans to bring advocates together to come up with language addressing shelter issues, punishment for offenders and how to handle animals that ultimately have to be taken from violators.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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