Taking dogs off of properties is the last thing Omaha Police and the Nebraska Humane Society want to do, but sometimes it's necessary. The owner of two dogs that were left out in the cold during the night is grateful for a happy ending after the animals were picked up by a cop.
The two pups had an unexpected stay at the humane society Tuesday morning after police responded to a complaint of barking dogs at a home near 79th and Bauman Ave. around 4:00. An officer arrived to find the dogs outside in the zero degree windchill. He knocked on the door and there was no response, so he hopped the fence and took the shivering pooches to warm up at the humane society.
Officials said they think the dogs were outside for about three hours.
Animal control officer Ruthie Pohl told 6 News that removing pets from a property is something both OPD and NHS have the power to do. "We only take dogs when we absolutely have to. And when we have to, it's because there are no other options. There's nobody at... we can't get a hold of anyone. The dogs are suffering."
She said any time a dog is outside for more than ten or fifteen minutes in the cold, there are certain must-haves. "They've got to have a heated water dish so that their water isn't frozen. Snow does not count, it's never counted. That's not good enough. We just want to make sure these dogs have everything they need. Your dog doesn't have to use its dog house... but it's got to be available."
Failure to set dogs up safely in the cold can lead to a citation, but in the case of the two dogs left out Tuesday, the owner didn't receive a citation. NHS spoke with the owner when he went to pick up his dogs early in the afternoon and determined that it was simply an unfortunate situation.
The owner told 6 News he fell asleep and feels horrible for what happened to his furry friends.
NHS said dogs that get left out in the cold often aren't discovered until a call comes in complaining about barking. So, if a dog is barking for a long time when it's cold out, don't hesitate to make the call.
(Photo courtesy of 6 News)