Luzerne County Passes Ordinance To Protect Dogs In Extreme Temps

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WILKES-BARRE --  Winter is on its way and now, Luzerne County wants to make sure dogs are not left out in the cold or owners could be fined — or even have their four-legged friends taken away from them.

Allen Demott loves each and every one of his four dogs.

"They're my family. They're my kids! You know, they deserve everything a child deserves,” he said.

And while some four-legged friends love being out in the snow, what gets Demott heated is seeing dogs left outside during extreme temperatures for too long.

“No dog should be left out in the winter, in the cold. You know, it's just not right!” he said.

The effect of cold weather on a dog can be devastating.

“Sometimes it shows on their paw pads or in their nose, they get cracked and can be incredibly painful and it opens them up to infections,” said Charlotte Maciejewski, a manager at PetSmart.

Now, Luzerne County wants to protect man's best friend. Luzerne County Council passed an ordinance prohibiting dogs from being outside when the temperature drops below 26 degrees or above 92 degrees for more than a half hour.

“They shouldn't be left outside and left alone and that's good they're passing a law that changes that,” said Jayme Galdieri of West Pittston.

The new law is not intended for people walking their dog, only dog owners who leave their furry friends outside unattended for too long. If that happens, owners could be slapped with a fine or the SPCA could even take away their dog.

But some people question if the new law goes too far.

“Who decides what's cold to a dog? Do we still let our kids go to school if it's cold outside? I mean, just saying!” said Donald Gruver of Wilkes-Barre.

“What's too cold for the tea cup chihuahua may not be too cold for the Alaskan Malamute, so it really, like any law, becomes common sense enforcement,” said Todd Hevner of the Luzerne County SPCA.

The county is hoping to enforce the law with help from neighbors, who can report if dogs are left the cold for too long.  But before the law takes effect, municipalities in Luzerne County have 15 months to decide if they want to opt of it.


  • Ashley Dancho

    This is more goverment control . Dogs are not people or children and shouldn’t not be treated like they are. This law need to be repealed now. Luzerne county doesn’t care if people freeze or starve but just so dogs don’t. My hunting dogs love to be outside and my grandparents loved dogs but never allowed any animals in their home, They believed it to be unsanitary to have animals in your home. Nature made dogs to survive outdoors like cats. There are lots of feral cats aromd here and they all made last winter just fine. Naturally , a chihuahua couldn’t be left outside, but many kinds of dogs do just fine with shelter and enough food and water. Let’s make sure all of the people have shelter in Luzerne county when it’s cold and trust people to care for their own dogs. Too much goverment isn’t a good thing. Hunting dogs and northern reeds, livestock guardian dogs ect.. Are. Or like fragile toy dogs. They are able to survive outdoors with good shelter just like the foxes and coyotes. They are dogs not people. Who do I contact about this ordinance?

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    How completely stupid. I expect nothing less from Luzerne county.

    Some dogs are built for the outside. Beagles, huskies, etc..

    Sorry, but my kids deserve more than dogs. What is that guy talking about, dogs deserve the same as kids?

    And I’m a dog person, I like dogs!

    • ranger22

      Just more Government control where It doesn’t belong, most larger Breeds are better equipped to be outside than inside when it’s cold.

  • justwondering1234

    I also had a dog that absolutely hated to be inside in cold weather ! She wanted to sleep outside in snowstorms ! It use to bother me.But after time i realized that’s what made her happy ! RIP. Abby We miss you!

    • E

      Wow dan i can certainly tell your father beat you lol. Why not just out yourself for being abused why dont you? Oh you just did.

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