Animal Cruelty Law

By Lanette Williams,

Animal Cruelty Investigator

High Forest Humane Society

Winter is here. Here is one of the Animal Cruelty laws you need to know.

The most common complaint received by Animal Cruelty Investigators is dogs without proper shelter.

Under Tennessee Law 39-14-202 Cruelty to Animals is (2) Failure to reasonably provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal.

Shelter is defined as having a roof, floor and at least three walls.

Here are some things you can do to help keep your dog warm:

• Face the doghouse so the opening is away from the wind.

• Make some sort of door flap. (an old piece of heavy fabric or linoleum floor will work.

• Elevate the doghouse so it is off the cold ground.

• Insulate using shavings or straw inside the house. Do NOT use towels or blankets. They get wet and freeze. Check the bedding every time you feed to make sure it isn’t wet.

• Use a dog house that isn’t too big. Big houses don’t keep in the heat. The dog only needs to be able to get inside, turn around and lay down.

• Provide more dog food. Staying warm uses more calories.

• Make sure they have water that isn’t frozen. Dogs dehydrate as they lose body heat.

If you have small, old, young or shorthaired dogs, please bring them inside if it is going to be near freezing or colder. Even with the best of doghouses it is difficult for them to stay warm.

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