SAVANNAH, GA (January 5, 2016): As winter temperatures drop, the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department reminds citizens to ensure proper shelter for their pets.

“Animals are required to have a shelter that elevates them from the moist and/or cold ground and protect them from the elements from all sides. Simply because you have a doghouse, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s adequate shelter,” said Christina Sutherin, Animal Control supervisor

Animals left outside without proper provisions during any extreme weather will be confiscated and the owner or caretaker will face penalties. The minimum fine is $500, with stiffer penalties of up to 12 months on probation, 30 days in jail, 50 hours of community service and/or a $1,000 fine.

“If it’s too cold for you it’s too cold for them,” Sutherin added. “Of course we want to encourage people to bring their animals inside for extreme weather – hot or cold – because that is what’s most comfortable for them. Dogs left unattended often results in an animal barking and becoming a nuisance for the neighbors.”

Anyone who has concerns regarding a tethered or uncared for animal should contact Animal Control by phone at (912) 651-6675 or 651-6676.