By Broadway's Backyard

It is expected that today (12/12) will be the first big snow of the season! Now that it’s getting colder, don’t forget Pennsylvania’s new animal cruelty protection law that recently went into effect.

The new law doesn’t allow you to keep your dog outside for long periods of time in the cold weather, according to Pittsburgh Patch Media. This will be our first winter with this new law.

If you leave your dog in the cold below 32 degrees (or in 90 degrees during the summer) for more than 30 minutes, you could face criminal charges. The smallest fine you can receive is $50, while the largest is $750 for disobeying this law. You can even receive jail time for up to 90 days. The worst charge, you ask? For a third-degree felony, you’re looking at a $15,000 fine and SEVEN years in prison.

That’s quite the range of punishments. The consequence you would receive all depends on the condition of the dog and how the animal cruelty officer determines the case – is it neglect or abuse.

Here’s an idea though.. just don’t leave your pet dog outside when it’s really cold and when it’s really hot!

Why has this new law taken effect? For obvious reasons. Your dog’s paws may crack or bleed. Even worse, your beloved pet may contract frostbite and hypothermia. Please contact your local human society police officer, local or state police if you see a neglected animal during these upcoming cold winter months.

Please keep your dogs and for that matter, ALL of your pets inside this winter! If you don’t like the cold, they don’t like it either!

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