If you leave your dog outside for long periods of time during sub-32 degree weather, does it constitute animal cruelty? That's what some users are wondering today on Reddit. User laserpilot wrote:
Every day I walk my dog past these two pitbulls that are kept outside at all hours of the day. They are very dirty and seem to be losing some hair. They have a little pen that is very close to the sidewalk...Now that it's ~30 degrees out it becomes very dangerous to leave these shorthaired guys out all day and night, but I'm not sure who to contact, or if it's the right thing to do. They have a shoddy dog shed, seem relatively healthy and not overly aggressive, but it's sad to see them huddled on top of each other for warmth every time I walk by. I don't know if the authorities would give the owners a warning, or just try and take the dogs away from them.
Several people suggested different animal rescue groups to contact, such as Brooklyn Animal Foster Network and BARC. He ended up calling ASPCA, who told him that "as long as they have some kind of shelter with four sides then that's good enough. They didn't ask for any other details and dismissed me in about 30 seconds. Lame shit." ASPCA reiterated similar sentiments to us: if the dogs have a standing shelter, there are no temperature restrictions. They said they would write down any complaints, and if they choose to investigate, the investigation will begin immediately. Do you think leaving dogs outside in freezing temperatures warrants a visit from the ASPCA?