Pet Care Tips

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Information and discussion regarding the health of and caring for your pet. Discuss anything from what type of food you should feed your pet to how to care for sick and elderly pets.

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07:30 PM EST

Savanna, GA / Hilton Head, SC

When it’s this cold outside - experts say you should stay indoors as much
as possible to stay safe and warm.  The same warnings extend to your
pets…but not everyone has gotten the message.  Metro Animal Control has
been kept busy this week - checking out complaints of pets left out in the

Kevin Derouen has worked for Metro Animal Control for more than five
years…he spends much of his day checking on complaints that an animal is
being mistreated, “It’s pretty much all year, it’s just a little more this
time because of the cold.”  In fact the cold can make a simple tethering
charge approach the level of neglect or cruelty.  “It looks a little harder
on the person once they get in front of the judge - knowing that the dog
was left out in the freeze,” says Derouen.

Chatham County has an ordinance against tethering or tying your dogs. 
That’s what one man was cited for on Friday.  Derouen says the man’s
reaction is the same he gets from many pet owners he encounters, “I didn’t
know - that’s their reaction. Cause I didn’t know.”  Not an acceptable
excuse in the eyes of the law…or in the eyes of most pet lovers when they
find animals kept outdoors in frigid temperatures.  “Me personally, I think
the animals should be inside, they shouldn’t be outside - but you know,
some people don’t like their animals inside, it’s just that they need to
make arrangements for the dog it it’s gonna be outside.”  Or face the

Derouen says the fine for tethering can vary.  A charge of animal cruelty
carries a minimum fine of a thousand dollars and six months in jail. 
Officers have handed out nearly a dozen citations this week.

WHY ARE PEOPLE SO CRUEL?  Just because they don't "want" the animal in the
house is no excuse.  It is their responsibility to make sure the animal's
needs are met, that he/she has not only food, water, shelter and bedding,
but also has a way to escape from the cold.  It's just plain immoral to do
anything less.

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