By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Man’s best friend is getting some new protection in Philadelphia. A city council committee has approved a bill that prohibits residents from leaving their dogs and cats outside when its bitterly cold or dangerously hot.

Jen Leary of the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team told council members the sad tale of Brownie, a dog living near the group’s headquarters in Point Breeze who is left out 24/7.

“Brownie cries constantly from hunger, from pain and from loneliness. Her paw pads are tender and swollen, she limps when she walks the perimeter of the yard, and her fur is patchy from fleas, and over-grooming due to boredom and stress. Over the winter we called Animal Control several times, and they did respond. But, with no real legislation to stand on, not much could be done.”

That may soon change.  The council committee approved a bill, authored by 2nd District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, that requires any pet owner to take the cat or dog inside when the temperature rises above 85 degrees or falls below 32. Those who ignore the law would face fines up to $300. The bill now goes to the full council.

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