With some snow in the forecast this weekend, it’s important to remember to keep pets safe.
Not having a shelter for an outside dog not only puts them at risk, but can get you arrested.
According to the Ottumwa City Code, dogs must have a shelter that has a roof and floor that’s lined with something like blankets or straw.
If you have a dog that’s chained, make sure the area is free of debris to the chain does not get stuck and keep the dog from getting to its shelter.
You can be arrested and fined $100 if you have an improper pet shelter.
Neighbors are encouraged to call the police if they feel an animal is at risk.
“Dogs need to have a proper shelter. In Ottumwa what that means basically is a proper dog house that’s structurally sound, that’s weather proof that protects them from the elements,” said Officer Jeff Williams of the Ottumwa Police Department. “A pet taxi is not a dog house, I come across that a lot where they think it is.”
Outside dogs also need plenty of food and thawed water.
Officers recommend using a heated water bowl; they say it costs around $25.