My Neighbor Leaves Their Dog Outside In The Cold

Neighbor Leaves Their Dog Outside In The Cold

Like any other pets, dogs can be a great animal to have around one’s home. In addition to the security they can bring they can also be great companion to spent time with especially if properly trained and cared for. It is painful to see a dog suffering let alone your neighbor’s dog. For different reasons your neighbor may leave their dog outside in the cold which is against the law. There are certain things that as the community people can do to help save lives of these beautiful animals from uncaring neighbors.

Is It Illegal To Leave A Dog Outside In The Cold

Various states have laws that make it illegal for anyone to leave a pet in extreme weather outside including dogs. The most common two of them are cruelty to non-livestock animals and unlawful restraint of a dog.  Cruelty implies the malicious and intentional infliction of physical suffering, pain, injury or death upon an animal. Other cities also have specific provisions put in place to protect these pets in extreme weather conditions.

Cruelty Against Non-Livestock Animals

According to cruelty to non-livestock animals, if a person fails without any reasonable cause to provide necessary water, food, care or shelter he has committed cruelty to non-livestock animals. The law also makes transportation and confinement of an animal in a cruel manner, abandonment of an animal under one’s custody, injuring or overworking of an animal an offense under the cruelty to non-livestock animals. This makes leaving a dog outside in the cold an abandonment of a non-livestock animal which violates the law and therefore illegal.

Unlawful Restraint Of A Dog

Under the unlawful restraint of a dog, it is illegal for anyone to leave a dog outside by use of a restraint that unreasonably confines the movement of the dog. This law is not confined to extreme cold weather only it also applies to extreme high temperatures and storms. In other cities, ordinances pet owners are compelled to provide decent and suitable shelters for their pets including dogs. The shelter should include walls, roof and elevated floor with compliance failure attracting a fine.

Fine For Violation Of Animal Protection Laws

The fines for violation of animal protection laws differ according to circumstance and state. According to cruelty to non-livestock animals, violation of this provision is classified under class-A misdemeanor and attracts a fine up to $4000 or a jail term up to one year for first and second offenders. For third offenders, this is classified as felony attracting a fine of up to $10000 and state jail term of up to two years. Like mentioned above the charges may differ according to circumstances and states.

Texas law classifies unlawful restraint of a dog as a Class-C misdemeanor that attracts a fine of up to $500 for first offenders. For second offenders the laws attach a fine of up to $2000 or 180 days in jail. For San Antonio residents, failure to provide decent shelter for your dog including walls, roof and elevated floor attracts a fine of $300.

What Can I Do To My Neighbor For Leaving Dog Outside In Cold

For some people seeing an animal suffer makes them feel compassionate and wish they could help in any way. The good news is there are ways one can help if a dog is left outside in the cold no only by your neighbor but by anyone. Firstly it is important to reiterate that it is a crime to leave a dog outside in the cold and therefore this calls for action to be taken. Below are some of the steps you can take to assist the dog.

  • Talk to your neighbor and find out if it is unintentional to leave the dog outside and ask them politely to provide proper care for their dog. To some owners it may be offending but always try to be calm and avoid shouting and exchanging offensive words. If your neighbor does not seem to care you may need to make them aware that you are going to inform local animal control officers depending on your neighbor. If you are not comfortable you may need to do it in secret for anonymity.
  • You may need to talk to other different neighbors and approach the abuser as a company probably he will listen.
  • After your neighbor refuses to listen, you may need to take details and evidence for the violation and call your local animal control offices and furnish them with correct details and evidence collected. Reporting your neighbor is not a criminal offense or sign of hatred, we create caring societies on our own and this is one way to do that.
  • Your local animal control agencies or the police will help you with the concern.

Above all lets educate our neighbors on good domestic animal care and discuss some of the legal requirements with our neighbors who might not be aware of these legal requirements.

How To Care For Dogs Against Extreme Weather Conditions

Dogs and other pets react differently to different weather patterns and therefore proper care should be given to these animals as prescribed by the laws. Below are some of the ways you can employ to protect your dog against extreme weather.

  • Bring your dog inside where the temperatures are warm when it’s cold outside. This applies to any other pet as well.
  • Do not shave your dog in cold months or winter. The fur helps to keep the body of these animals warm.
  • Put booties on your dogs and bundle them with warm sweater when they go outside in the cold.
  • For hot weather ensure your dog has access to cold water and shade.
  • Also avoid leaving your dog locked up inside your car in hot weather.


Leaving a dog outside is a violation of the law and as a society we need to talk freely about animal abuse in our neighborhoods. Cruelty against dogs is intolerable and anyone violating the laws should be reported and pay for his actions.