Pet owners could face jail time for leaving dogs outside in cold

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PENNSYLVANIA (WAFB) -Shelters and lawmakers alike in Pennsylvania are warning dog owners about a new law as temperatures turn colder. Violators could wind up with a fine or even receive jail time. 

According to the state's cold weather portion of Libre's Law, a set of newly implemented animal cruelty laws, there are new protections and penalties for cold weather.

Dog owners can own get in big trouble if you leave your dog outside in freezing temperatures without adequate shelter for more than 30 minutes.

Some of the key components of the new law including improved tethering conditions for outside dogs, no more than 9 hours tethered in a 24-hour period, no more than 30 minutes in below 32-degree weather, and no open sores or wounds on the dog’s body among several others.

Fines and jail time are possible for pet owners who don't comply. According to the bill, penalties range from a $50 to $750 fine and up to 90 days in jail for a summary offense.

Dog owners could get up to a $15,000 fine and seven years in prison for a third-degree felony. The punishment depends on the condition of the dog as well as if the animal cruelty officer finds neglect or abuse.

To read the bill, click here.

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