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Leaving Dogs Outside In Freezing Cold Could Become Illegal In Philadelphia

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File Photo of a dog playing in the snow. (Credit: TG Nichols)

File Photo of a dog playing in the snow. (Credit: TG Nichols)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s common sense to take your dog inside when its freezing outside, but in Philadelphia, leaving Fido out in the cold is not illegal. However, that could soon change.

City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson says in the wake of this difficult and bitterly cold winter, he’s hearing from residents about neighbor’s dogs being left outside:

“I’ve been receiving several calls from my constituents regarding dogs out in the backyard in severe cold weather. Community residents were asking what is the city doing about it? What type of law is on the books?”

But when his staff looked into it, they found there currently is no law in the city code prohibiting pet exposure to freezing temperatures. Now Johnson has introduced a bill to do exactly that:

“There’s a penalty if you leave your dog outside under 32 degrees of cold weather, or anytime above 85 degrees.”

The penalty would range from $150 to $300. Johnson says it’s a shame that such a law is even needed:

“At the end of the day, if you can’t take of your dog, you shouldn’t own it.”

And Johnson says he’s got at least one vote for the bill — from his own dog, a Blue Cane Corso named Sacha:

“Sacha makes sure that I’m doing my job to take care of my pet animals.”

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