The Toledo Area Humane Society is investigating why a pit bull froze to death on the porch of a house in Toledo, Ohio.
“I don’t know how long she was out there,” Humane Society investigator Megan Brown told the Toledo Blade. “She was frozen solid.”
Brown saw a second dog inside the house through a window. The dog was alive but malnourished and cold. Brown entered the house after obtaining a search warrant and rescued it.
The Blade contacted the owner of the dogs, 40-year-old Victor Vallejo Sr. He said the dog that died was a 3-year-old female, and the dog inside the house was a 4-year-old male. Both dogs are American Bullies, one of several kinds of dogs considered pit bulls.
“I wasn’t staying there, but I was going back and forth and feeding them. They had plenty of food and water,” he said. “I’ve been staying here and there at the moment. I kind of fell on some bad times.”
He told The Blade that he locked the dogs up inside and doesn’t know how the female got out. He also revealed that the utilities to the house were recently cut off.
Brown said that none of the dogs had food or water. The frozen dog appears healthy, despite freezing to death in a curled up posture. She seemed optimistic about the surviving dog.
“He looks to be pretty good,” Brown said. “He’s sweet. He was malnourished and dehydrated, but I think he’ll be fine.”
Animal cruelty investigators took the surviving dog to a shelter. They are also considering cruelty charges against Vallejo, according to WTVG.
Vallejo told The Blade he paid a lot of money for the dogs and hoped to breed them.
Veterinarian Dr. Donald Allen told WKBN about the dangers of leaving pets outside during cold weather. He said that even though the normal body temperature of dogs and cats is slightly higher than that of humans, caution should be taken.
He said dogs start to feel cold in their feet, ear tips, and eyes. He also said pets feel cold and windchill much the same way human beings do, even though the body temperature for dogs and cats is normally around 100 to 103 degrees.
Most of the calls the Toledo Area Humane Society receives about animals in the cold are about dogs, according to another Blade article. Stephen Heaven, president and chief executive of the society, tells people to look for signs.
“You just have to use common sense,” said Heaven, via The Blade. “You obviously want to watch the temperatures. You really have to be aware of how your animal is reacting”
He said that if pets appear too cold, they should be brought to an indoor heated area and dried off. They should also be warmed slowly and seen by a veterinarian if necessary.