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Dogs left in cold across Valley

Published: Wed, January 8, 2014 @ 12:10 a.m.

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and Kalea Hall


Police in Boardman and Hubbard checked on dogs out in Monday’s dangerous cold, and humane agencies said they’ve been dealing with a lot of calls.

In Boardman, police went to a home on Annawan Lane at 4 p.m. where they found a beagle-mix in the backyard. The dog had a doghouse, food and water, according to a police report.

The dog appeared to be shaking, however, and had a difficult time walking, police said.

The dog’s owner, who was shopping, would not come home, police said. The Mahoning County dog warden and a humane agent arrived, but because the dog had everything it needed by law, it could not be removed.

The humane agent left a note that there would be follow-up because the dog needed medical care.

Police checked on the dog again at 10 p.m. Another resident had brought the dog inside.

That resident told police such an incident would not happen again.

No charges were filed.

In Hubbard, police charged a woman with cruelty to animals after finding a dog tied to a short rope on a concrete porch for 41/2 hours in the 500 block of Ruth Drive, a report says.

Police said they got a call about the dog at 4:30 p.m., and an officer came back periodically to check on it.

Around 8 p.m., the officer noticed the dog lifting his paws off the concrete for relief, the report said.

The officer called Animal Welfare League, but it could not help because the dog has an owner, police reported.

The resident, Doris Jones, 84, came home shortly after 9 p.m. Jones told police a family member moves the dog from its house in the backyard to the front porch so she does not have to walk back into the yard to bring it to the house.

The officer stood by until she let the dog into the house.

A summons was issued to her through Girard Municipal Court.

Animal Charity in Mahoning County and Animal Welfare League in Trumbull County say they are limited in what they can do for animals left in the cold.

In the case of stray animals, the counties’ dog wardens handle calls.

If the dog has a known owner, however, the situation is different.

As long as the animal has shelter, food and water, they cannot take it, said Kayley Frost, executive director of Animal Charity in Mahoning County.

“Nor can we coerce citizens to bring their pets indoors, only recommend it’s best for the animal’s general well-being,” Frost said.

“Animal Charity, its staff and agents are doing all they can to keep these animals as comfortable as possible while enforcing the only laws we can,” she added.

Frost said the public should ask state legislators to change the laws.

At Animal Welfare League, executive director Kerry Pettit said when the agency gets a report and humane officers respond, they take certain steps.

“A lot of times, it’s education,” she said. “[People] think, ‘Well, they got a fur coat, they should be fine.’”

Frost said Animal Charity is being “inundated” with calls about animals in the cold.

Pettit said Animal Welfare League received more that 20 calls Monday, up from the usual two to six calls in a day.

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