Pit Bull Left in Cold, Reminder for Pet Owners to Take Care of Animals

Illinois  --  An Illinois law helped save a Pit Bull escape a potentially dangerous situation, after the dog was left outside in cold weather. WQAD's Chris Minor reported on the story.

"It's horrific, it's horrific. I don't understand how you can sit in your nice warm house while this emaciated dog is chained up in 27 degree weather, how you can feel that that is okay," says Cindy Van Landegen, who was alerted that the dog was left outside.

Van Landegen initially called the police, who did not take action because the dog had food and water. She did not think this was an appropriate response, though, and texted her friend on the police force. This time, officers and Animal Control came to the house to take the dog to an animal shelter. 

"It's citizens who are often jumping in here and doing the job that I believe Animal Control and the police should do," she says.

Van Landegen takes animal welfare seriously, and says not everyone may be aware of a relatively new 2016 law prohibiting dog owners from leaving their pets outside in extreme heat or cold. 

"If you don't want to stand out here with a chain on your neck in 27 degrees, neither does your dog." 

The dog's owner was not at home, but relatives who live there handed over the animal. When asked why the dog was left outside, one relative responded, "I don't even like to talk to people. I spit on people." 

Van Landegen is grateful the dog is safe for now, but says she has seen other similar cases, even this winter.

"Please, I'm begging people, in these extreme temperatures bring your dog inside." 

The dog is still at the county animal shelter. It is unknown whether the owner was issued any type of ticket.