San Antonio pet owners who leave animals unprotected outside during freezing weather could face $300+ fine

Officers may remove animals if they’re in grave danger

cold dog (WKMG)

SAN ANTONIO – With an arctic airmass plunging into South Texas this week, Animal Care Services is reminding San Antonio pet owners to protect their animals as the shelter has a “zero tolerance” policy.

ACS said it is best to keep pets, especially cats, indoors during these cold-weather events. If pet owners are unable to place them indoors, they could purchase or build an insulated dog house or protective enclosure for the outdoors.

Owners who do not cooperate with ACS officers in sheltering a pet could face a fine, which generally start at $300 per violation. If animals are believed to be in danger, officers may remove them from the home.

A City of San Antonio ordinance states a suitable shelter for a pet must include walls, a roof and an elevated floor.

“Although outdoor pets need proper shelter because it protects them from the elements, it’s also the law here in San Antonio and violators face zero tolerance during extreme weather events.,” ACS officials said in a news release.

The release states that vulnerable and elderly pets, shorthaired dogs and all cats shouldn’t be left outside during cold-weather events.

Other tips from ACS include:

  • Put a sweater on shorthaired dogs when outside.
  • Provide extra food to pets that spend a lot of time outside, as they “use up more energy trying to stay warm.”
  • Store chemicals, like antifreeze, out of the reach of pets.
  • Bang on the hood of a vehicle before starting it, as some cats may rest near warm engines.

Residents can make reports by calling 311.

A cold front will sink across South Texas on Wednesday before possible scattered showers and thunderstorms on Thursday.

Temperatures on Friday and Saturday are expected to top out in the 40s, but Sunday and Monday will be even colder.

Temperatures will fall into the 20s those mornings, and they could stay below freezing for more than 24 hours Sunday night through Monday.

Stay Informed

As always, Your Weather Authority team will keep you updated. You can get the very latest forecast an check out the interactive radar anytime by bookmarking our weather page and downloading the KSAT Weather Authority App - available for both Apple and Android devices.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.