Animals out in the cold -- Owners hauled into court - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Animals out in the cold -- Owners hauled into court

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Dog left in cold in Cleveland Dog left in cold in Cleveland
Dog left in the cold in Cleveland Dog left in the cold in Cleveland
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

One word. DISGUSTING!

The fact that some people are still leaving pets to fend for themselves in these unforgiving temperatures, and it blows our minds here at 19 Action News.

Dawn Kendrick witnessed it first hand.

She went along with Animal Cruelty Investigators on call after call about pets being tethered, in some cases for days, in subzero wind chills.

Animal Protective League Investigator, Jed Mignano found one dog on Cleveland's east side, tethered to a backyard dog house, scared and shivering with a heavy boat anchor around his neck. Holding up frozen paws. His water bowl frozen solid.

The caller said he had been out there most of the day.

"This poor animal has to drag this chain around in sub freezing weather," said Mignano. "It's two degrees outside without wind chill. I'm standing here freezing right now."

Investigators knocked on the door. When no one answered Mignano cut through the thick chain, smiled, and said, "This little guy's gonna have a warm place to stay tonight."

The owners could be charged with first degree misdemeanor animal cruelty.

That's just one of the almost 50 cases the APL and the City of Cleveland collectively received in just the last two days.

Cleveland Animal Warden John Baird says eight of the dogs tethered outside that they picked up came from just three homes.

Just having a dog house does not mean it's acceptable shelter in brutal conditions.

Mignano says, "We're talking about fully insulated, off the ground, some source of heat for these animals in this kind of weather -- otherwise it's not adequate and doesn't qualify as shelter."

Investigators aren't messing around, taking each call seriously and asking you to call and be the voice of those who have none on their own.

Baird has this warning: "If you get caught and your animal suffers in any way you're going to pay the price."

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