The cold snap that our weatherman kept predicting is finally here. We are busy bundling ourselves up and I can't help but think of all the unfortunate and cruel circumstances where a pet is left outside. I am the crazy lady who has poked holes in boxes and thrown all my spare blankets into a box hoping a stray cat can find warmth and comfort in my patio.

Unfortunately, during cold snaps like the one we are facing now, the Louisiana SPCA can't keep up with the flooding phone calls. I mean, who wouldn't be infuriated seeing animals being left out in the cold?

The Louisiana SPCA says it's illegal to leave pets outside when the National Weather Service issues a freeze advisory.

With weather dipping into freezing territory, animal control officers have to treat all calls as emergency calls, pets cannot handle this temperature. If you don't bring your pet in your animal can be seized and you can be charged with a felony offense of animal cruelty.

If you see an animal outside that has no shelter or chained up their owners will be charged with animal cruelty if they don't bring their pet inside. Don't assume someone else has reported the cruelty, make the call, report the cruelty your report is completely confidential. No success with getting someone on the phone? Leave a detailed message with information like the pet's address and where it's located on the property. The more details the better.

Wondering what the Louisiana law says about animal cruelty? Check this out:

"Sec. 54-376. - Cruelty to animals."

"(a) It is unlawful for any person to commit the crime of cruelty to animals."

"(b) Cruelty to animals is the intentional or criminally negligent mistreatment of any animal by any act, or omission whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused to or permitted upon such animal."
Please remember that feral cats in your neighborhood will seek warmth in your car. Your car engine emits warmth so please before you start your car up blow your horn or hit on top of your hood to give those feral cats a chance to exit the engine block before you drive away.

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