By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The region’s largest animal care and control service provider is reminding Philadelphia dog owners that they must protect their pets from the cold or face hefty fines.

When a Code Blue is issued by the city, Ame Dorminy, a spokeswoman for Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia, says you can’t leave your dog outside without shelter or you can be fined up to $500.

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“Ideally we would like people to bring their dogs inside, but we understand not everyone has indoor dogs, some stay outside all of the time,” Dorminy said. “And it is really important to provide moisture proof, wind proof, and insulated dog house for your dog. And it can be made of any kind of material as long as it meats those requirements and is at least two inches off the ground.”

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And she says you need to make sure there is some kind of insulating material for the dog like straw. ACCT Philly offers straw for free.

If you do see a dog that is not being cared for properly, call ACCT Philly at 267 385-3800 and officer will be sent out to investigate.