Animal Control requires adequate shelter for outside dogs in Springfield

As the freezing temperatures hit the Ozarks, Springfield Animal Control is reminding pet owners that shelter is required for all outside dogs.
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:46 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As the freezing temperatures hit the Ozarks, Springfield Animal Control is reminding pet owners that shelter is required for all outside dogs. Senior Animal Control Officer Heather Kellough said if your dog is outside longer than a bathroom or play break it’s needed.

Kellough said the shelter has to have a floor and the ceiling is covered on all sides. Along with being structurally sound, properly ventilated, sanitary and weather proof. Barrels, pipes, cardboard boxes, pet carriers and tarps are not adequate shelters. She said if a dog owner doesn’t have proper shelter, they can receive a violation.

A Springfield veterinarian said it depends on your animal. Some dogs and cats are acclimated to cold weather, but it doesn’t mean you should keep them outside over night.

“You also have other breeds of dogs like a Husky or Shepherds,” said Kellough. “They actually love being outside. I personally have a German Shepherd and it’s hard to get her back inside when it’s cold because she likes being out there in it.”

She said it’s common for concerned neighbors to call if an animal is outside for long periods of time. The most recent data from last weekend shows that animal control had 13 cruelty calls and only four were weather related.

”We always get a lot of calls on those,” said Kellough. “A lot of it is either the people are not seeing the shelter or the person with the animal is literally only letting them outside long enough to do their business and they’re let back in.”

She said if pet owners don’t have proper shelter they will be be given a warning. If it happens again they could be cited for animal cruelty. In Missouri, it’s illegal to remove someone’s animal from their property if they’re outside. The only time is if the animal is in immediate danger of death or serious injury.

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