Group Fights To Unchain KY Pets In Cold Weather

Reported by: Amanda Stevenson
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Updated: 1/23/2013 6:08 pm
If you're trying to stay out of the bitter cold weather, animal control officers say you also need to protect your pets.

Under Kentucky law, a pet can be chained up outside as long as it has shelter.

"How they're surviving, I don't know--I'm amazed," said Tracy Miller, founder and president of non-profit group Speak Out and Rescue (SOAR).

Miller's organization works to bring pets out of the cold, and into warm homes.

"We just try to talk people into bringing their dog inside in this weather," she said.

Miller sent out an email Wednesday with pictures of what appeared to be dogs chained up in freezing temperatures--water bowls were just ice, and mud surrounded some dogs' paws.

Animal control officers said the definition of 'shelter' isn't specifically stated in Kentucky law, though some areas have stricter rules.

One Anderson County woman--who didn't want to give her name--said she's trying to make her county one of them.

"I just think we need to have some kind of law in this county saying it's illegal for people to keep their dogs outside on chains," she said.

The concerned woman recently went to the Anderson County fiscal court, asking for a new law. As of this writing, nothing has been decided.

Miller said more needs to be done.

"We have the weakest laws in the nation. And it's pitiful. It's embarrassing. It's not a good title to hold or be proud of," she said.

And in recent cold weather, animal control officers say it's important to report pets that are chained up outdoors without shelter.

Click Here for more information on SOAR.

There is also a national push to mail valentines to the owners or caretakers of chained dogs, called 'Have a Heart For Chained Dogs'. For more on that campaign, click here.
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