WARNING: Details and photos in this story may be disturbing to some.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A local animal shelter is warning against leaving animals out in the cold after officials say a dog froze to death inside a doghouse.
An official with Indianapolis Animal Care Services said in a Facebook post Wednesday that the owner then “picked up the dog and threw it away in a dumpster, as if its life meant nothing.”
The official was out with officers to make sure animals were being taken care of when they came across the dog, emaciated and covered in trash, according to the post. The official said the only thing blocking the dog from the cold outside was a towel.
“The small area where the dog spent its last hours had a frozen water bowl and gave you a glimmer of the painful days and nights it suffered before freezing to the ground of its doghouse,” the post says.
During the official’s time with the officers, the person says they also found several cats hiding in the ceiling of a vacant home.
“I can only imagine how hard they worked to stay warm, hoping that someone would come rescue them,” said the official.
Unfortunately, the officers were unable to reach the cats, so they set up a trap with food to hopefully lure them out.
The officers also confiscated a dog that the shelter says was left outside, chained to a back porch. The dog was reportedly shivering.
“The look of helplessness in the dog’s eyes as he whined, terrified and cold is something I will never forget,” wrote the shelter official.
It’s actually against a city-county ordinance to leave pets outside when it’s below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or in cases in which Indianapolis is under a Wind Chill Advisory. Violating the ordinance could result in fines of up to $200.
If you see an animal left out in the cold, you’re asked to call the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4622. If it’s at night, call 317-327-3811.
“If you are a pet owner who can’t afford to take care of your pet in this weather, there are resources available to help you,” wrote the shelter. “Please reach out and ask for help before it’s too late.”
WARNING: Photos of the deceased dog are in the Facebook post below.