RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Animal Care and Control responded to more than a dozen calls for pets left outside in backyards during the first bitter cold day of 2019.
RACC Director Christie Chipps Peters posted a plea to the public on Facebook to report any offenders.
"Please share this post-tell your neighbors and look out for those pets in the city that need us most. Call 804-646-5100/email or PM to report any animals you think may be in danger," the post read.
Peters said Richmond City code was updated to include inclement weather regarding pets left tethered outside.
"You can’t tether a dog longer than an hour. Your dogs cannot be tethered in inclement weather, and they can’t be tethered when you’re not at home," she explained.
Inclement weather includes the bitter cold where temperatures are forecasted to drop into the lower teens throughout Central Virginia on Monday night.
Pets may also have adequate shelter including a dog house with insulation such as a straw to be compliant with the law.
"RACC can provide any Richmond resident with a temporary crate to bring dogs inside as well as doghouses and straw for those that have outdoor pens. PLEASE PREPARE for this frigid weather," the Facebook post read.
Offenders of the city code will be given a fine and may be forced to pay for court costs.
Officers also patrolled Richmond neighborhoods searching for any animals left tethered in extreme weather.
"There’s no excuse for us to roll up to your house and find a frozen dog in their doghouse. That’s unacceptable to us," Peters said.