LEAVING pets outside in extreme weather conditions is a crime punishable with prison, animal welfare societies in Valencia are warning.

With images doing the rounds of dogs frozen to death throughout Spain during this week’s ‘Filomena’ snow storms, spokespeople for the Modepran shelter and the Valencian Animal Defence Lawyers have issued a joint statement recalling that, by law, domestic and labour animals MUST be sheltered from extreme cold and heat.

The associations insist that especially dogs – as they feel the temperature the most – but also cats and any other pets or animals used for work – such as horses – have to be protected, and that failure to do so can be considered a crime with penalties ranging from hefty fines to prison sentences.

Dogs have a higher tolerance for the cold... but up to a limit
Dogs have a higher tolerance for the cold… but up to a limit

Common instances of animal mistreatment that often go unreported include leaving pets tied up outside, without shelter and not allowed into the house or garage at the height of winter or summer.

Modepran president Amparo Requena is calling on witnesses to inform the authorities upon encountering these cases, adding that leaving a dog or cat abandoned in an empty house for long periods is also unacceptable.

The society president insists that, although animals do have a higher tolerance level for the cold, ‘they also have a limit’.

Requena adds that this warning is applicable throughout the winter – not just when there is a cold snap – and of course the summer, when temperatures of around 40°C can also kill pets.   

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