FREEZING WEATHER: Animal Neglect Charges

Des Moines Animal Control rescued three dogs from the cold in the last two weeks, but only two of them survived.

Authorities are trying to determine the cause of death of a Schnauzer-Terrier mix they took from a home on the city’s east side.  They were called to the 1700 block of East 21st Street for a dog was said to have a “frozen leg”.  The emaciated little dog was cold to the touch, couldn’t walk and had to be put down.

While charges in that case are pending, two other pet owners are accused of animal neglect for leaving their dogs out in the cold.

“Those are the cases where we’re seeing the animal in distress.  It doesn’t have the proper provisions to be out there.  The proper food and water, proper dog house,” says Josh Colvin with the ARL’s Animal Care and Control.

On Sunday, a neighbor called about a dog chained in the front yard at this house in the 2300 block of Williams Street.  Animal control found it sitting in a snow mound “shivering and holding up his paws” in -14 degree wind chills.

Later that same day in the 300 block of Bell Avenue, a man called police after seeing his neighbor’s black lab tied up outside in -20 wind chills without shelter.  Colvin says both dogs are in good health.

“Hopefully they’ve learned what’s acceptable and not acceptable,” he says.

Animal Control responded to about 30 calls in the last few days.  Colvin says the phones are still ringing with concerns about animals in the cold.

One of the seized dogs is already back home with its owner.  The other was expected to follow suit today after the owners paid the impound fee.

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