Failing to do so could have dire consequence for pets, and result in a Cruelty to Animals or Animal Neglect charge and up to a $1,000 fine for the owner.
Ideally, the best way to protect pets from extreme temperatures is to avoid long-term outdoor exposure. However, if pets have to be outside for longer durations, Denver city ordinance requires that pets have adequate outdoor shelter such as a dog house, porch area, or a similar structure that allows an animal to escape the elements.
Further insulating the shelter or adding a“doggie door” to a garage or covered area adds an additional layer of protection from the cold.
9News reporter Eric Egan recently followed along with Denver Animal Control Officer Andrew Martinez while Officer Martinez responded to calls regarding animals being left outside in extreme cold temperatures. View the 9News report and video.
Additional tips include:
- When pets come in from the outdoors, remove snow, ice, salt other ice treatment chemicals. This will not only keep them dry, but also keep them from ingesting chemicals that may remain on their coat.
- Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold.
- Don’t leave dangerous and potentially lethal chemicals like snow and ice remover and anti-freeze outdoors where pets can accidentally ingest.
- Check under the hood of outdoor vehicles before starting them up. Stray cats often look for refuge in warm engines.
For information about Denver’s Animal Care & Control ordinances or additional pet safety tips, visit