An Illinois law put in place at the beginning of the year is keeping animals from being left out in extreme weather.
Pet owners could receive fines of up to $2,500 and even face time behind bars for leaving animals in the bitter cold or blistering heat for extended amounts of time.
Lisa Jackson from the Protecting Animal Welfare Society says extra attention should be paid to pets now that temperatures are dipping down into the single digits.
“I don’t think any animals should be outside for more than 10 minutes to take care of their business in cold temperatures, especially on days like today. They wouldn’t have access to their water very long before it would freeze over.”
Jackson says the new law has some problems, even though it is a step in the right direction for pet protection.
“It would be a great law if it was more specific about what temperatures are considered extreme. A lot of it should include what breeds it applies to. Obviously a husky can handle a lot colder temperatures compared to a chihuahua.”
As for stray pets in the area, Jackson suggests leaving out some water and food, contacting animal control or using social media to try and find the owner.