Cold weather, including a forecast of heavy snow, has prompted Montgomery County, Maryland officials to remind residents not to leave pets outside.
Owners face a $500 fine for doing so.
The penalty would come for breaking Executive Regulation 10-10AM, which states in part that “a person must not tether a dog under circumstances that endanger its health, safety, or well-being including: unattended tethering of the dog during a weather emergency.”
The enforcement of the regulation is done in periods of high heat and humidity or conditions of extreme cold, wind, and heavy snow.
“The best advice during periods of extreme weather conditions is to bring pets indoors. Even animals that are accustomed to living outdoors can be susceptible to the dangers of cold weather. Livestock animals should have a place to get out of the wind and dry bedding should be provided to protect them from frostbite,” the county said in an advisory.
Officers with the Animal Services Division will be patrolling neighborhoods and responding to any animal-related emergencies.
People who see animals left outside that appear to be in danger should call the division at 301-279-8000.