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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (CBS Local) — A dog was thrown into a dumpster after it apparently froze to death overnight in frigid temperatures, authorities in Indianapolis said Wednesday.

The dog was left outside in a cold wooden outdoor doghouse, CBS affiliate WTTV reported, despite warnings about the deep freeze settling over the Midwest this week.

The owner then “picked up the dog and threw it away in a dumpster, as if its life meant nothing. When we found the dog, it was emaciated and covered in trash,” the Indianapolis Animal Care Services said in a Facebook post Wednesday.

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“The small area where the dog spent its last hours had a frozen water bowl and gave you a glimmer of the painful days and nights it suffered before freezing to the ground of its doghouse,” the IACS Facebook post said. “The only thing blocking the cold, bitter air was a towel.”

It’s actually illegal in Indianapolis to leave pets outside when it’s below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or during a wind-chill advisory. Violating the ordinance could result in fines of up to $200.

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Indianapolis Animal Care Services offered the following tips to keep your pets safe and warm during bitter winter weather:

  • The best place for your pet is inside, but if kept outdoors your pet must have access to dry shelter. A structure with space to move around will help shield your animal from the cold winter air.
  • Keep your pet warm and safe by using straw in outdoor shelters, not blankets and towels. Blankets and towels draw moisture and don’t provide as much insulation and warmth as straw.
  • Your pets are just as susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite as you are. Bring them inside as often as you can and, when nature calls, accompany them when they venture outdoors.
  • Make sure you keep water available outside and check the dish every few hours to make sure the water hasn’t frozen over. Consider investing in a heated water dish to avoid the hassle of a frozen water bowl.