What to Do if You See a Dog Chained Up in Freezing Temperatures

For animal lovers, seeing a dog tied up outside elicits a visceral response. Many times the chain is meant as a dog sitter, a way to get the dog out of its owner’s hair. The dog is stuck and if the owner is not paying attention, the dog could get tangled up and severely — or fatally — injure themselves.

The situation becomes even worse when the dog is left out in freezing conditions. A dog’s fur coat can only go so far, with shorter-haired dogs like chihuahuas and Jack Russell terriers succumbing to the cold quicker than heavy-coated dogs like Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes. In fact, a dog like the Jack Russell terrier may start to shiver if it is left out for too long in weather that is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Even leaving your dog in the car during these temperatures is considered neglect. A car cools down as quickly as it warms up, so if you are gone for more than 10 minutes, a dog will start suffering from the cold.

Just like us, dogs can fall victim to hypothermia or frostbite if left out in the cold for too long. The areas that are at a danger for frostbite in dogs are ears, tail tip, nose and feet. A general rule to follow in cold temperatures is “If it’s too cold for us, it’s too cold for our dogs.”

So what do you do when you see a dog chained up in freezing temperatures? The first thing you should do is write down all you can about the situation: the time, the temperature, the home’s address, the type of dog. Write down as much information as you can and if you have a device available, take photos or video of what you see as evidence.

Next, call someone who can help. The Humane Society recommends contacting local law enforcement agencies or animal control first. Because the dog is at risk of hypothermia, frostbite and death, the owner could face criminal charges, which would save more animals from being abused. It is also important that you take notes from the call as well. Get the name of the person you spoke to, the time and length of the call.

As much as you want to help, it is important that you let the authorities handle the situation. By taking it into your own hands, you put yourself at risk. You can, however, monitor the location over the next few days to see if the situation has gotten better or still remains the same. If it has not gotten better, follow up with the person you spoke to and report it again.

It is always safe to be prepared to help an animal. The last thing you want to see is a suffering animal, but the more prepared you are to help, the better that animal’s life can be. The best way to be prepared is to program the phone numbers of your local law enforcement, animal control and humane society into your phone. That way you can alert someone of the neglect as quickly as possible.

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469 comments

Peggy B
Peggy B20 days ago

TYFS

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michela c
michela cabout a month ago

I think I couldn't wait for help to come...

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hELEN h
hELEN habout a month ago

tyfs

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michelle m
michelle mabout a month ago

I will and I have always done anything to help an animal in distress, or in a dangerous situation.

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Renata B
Renata Babout a month ago

I wouldn't wait for a few days. By the time it may be too late.

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Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jerome S
Jerome S7 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S7 months ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim Ven7 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jim V
Jim Ven7 months ago

thanks for sharing

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