It is cruel to leave pets outside in the freezing cold. Dogs have frozen to death after being left in yards on chains. Some have been rescued in terrible conditions from such situations. No one would want to be chained up in severe weather with no way to escape or seek shelter. This is why anti-tethering laws are important. It’s never safe to leave a pet chained up outdoors for long periods of time, but it comes especially life-threatening during harsh weather.

Nineteen states have anti-tethering laws that state how long a dog can be left tethered outside, and California is the only state to be completely anti-tethering. Sadly, only two states have anti-tethering laws that specifically mention weather — Texas and Pennsylvania.

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Even long-haired and thick-coated dogs that tend to be more cold tolerant are at risk in cold weather. As the American Veterinary Medical Association clarifies: “Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. It’s a common belief that dogs and cats are more resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it’s untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods in below-freezing weather.”

It’s devastating that it has to be said when the seasons change — when summer comes, people have to be reminded that dogs should not be left in hot cars and when winter arrives, they have to be told not to leave dogs out in the cold. Let’s urge lawmakers to make it illegal so that people are more likely to take better care of their dogs and if they don’t, they can face the consequences. Sign this petition asking every single state to make sure their animal abuse laws include anti-tethering statutes.

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