Animal rights activists in Philadelphia are pushing for legislation that would land a pet owner a hefty fine for keeping dogs and other pets outside when a Code Blue is in effect. The Code Blue is in effect when outdoor temperatures drop to 20 degrees or below.
The new city ordinance would give a $500 fine for failing to bring your inside. It also has its own taskforce to enforce the ordinance called ACCT Philly, and so far, they have made 16 visits to homes not in compliance with these conditions.
“We want to make sure every owner is aware of their obligations to protect their pet and so we are going to talk to each owner about each individual case,” Said Susan Cosby of ACCT Philly.
George Bengal said, “Keep your pets inside. In this subzero weather these animals can only stand so much.”
Bengal has taken things one step further by obtaining the materials to be able to keep his dogs in a heated trailer. This ensures both the comfort and the well-being of his dogs.
“Just went out and bought a brand new heater. I got there gigantic comforters. And we have a shelter in the back,” said Bengal.
This new city ordinance would supersedes existing state animal laws. It would be enforced by the ASPCA, which is better than what ACCT Philly can do as they don’t have the right to seize pets left out in the cold.
The law has been backed by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. Councilman Johnson is himself a big animal rights activist and has dogs as members of his family.
“It’s very important that we advocate for our pets and also make sure we have laws on the books that will protect them and we will continue advocating for them,” said Johnson.