Cold weather dangerous for outdoor pets

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Overnight wind chill temperatures are below zero through this week and that means it is imperative that you find shelter for your outdoor pets.

NBC4 found several dogs standing outside in freezing temperatures Wednesday morning.

A dog rescue group director said, if you are cold when you step outside, so is your pet.

“Tyson is a rather large mix that was kept chained outside,” said Mirna Bowman, Co-Director of the Columbus Dog Connection. She said she has been talking with Tyson’s owner over the last year and became more concerned as temperatures plummeted.

“They did not want to bring this dog inside, so they decided to release him to the Columbus Dog Connection,” she said.

She said that happened after the Columbus Humane Society posted a recently passed ordinance, 2327.20 called Tethering Animals on the owner’s property. The ordinance states, “no person shall allow an animal to be tethered outdoors: unattended between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.”

Also, “no person shall allow an animal to be tethered outdoors: ‘if a heat or cold advisory or severe weather warning has been issued by a local or state authority, or the National Weather Service for an area in which the animals is kept or harbored.’”

NBC4 asked about leaving a pet outside in the cold, Bowman said even under normal weather conditions, pets need more food and fresh, not frozen water, but when it is this cold they need a heated area and should not be outside for more than 30 minutes.

“A dog house may be somewhat helpful, but it is still too cold. It needs to be completely insulated and the space inside the dog house should not be large it should be small enough that their body can heat it up,” Bowman said.

Driving down alleys on Columbus’ west side NBC4 found several homes with dogs running loose inside fenced backyards. One of those, a house pet was let back inside.

Bowman said if you spot an animal or pet in distress it is up to you to report it.

For now, Tyson is being cared for by the Pet Palace and seems content to be in out the frigid weather. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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