County laws differ on sheltering animals in frigid conditions

BOONE COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - Animal shelters across the Tri-State are urging residents to keep their pets in mind with these sub-zero temperatures.

But depending on what county you live in, not all animals are required shelter in these conditions.

"I don't think anything should have to survive in these temperatures," says Cindy Gibbs.

Several horses spent all day in the bitter cold. Gibbs, who lives right next door, says for years she's tried to find someone who can get these animals some relief.

"In the past, I've called the animal shelter, the humane society and they all say that there's not a law against horses and cows, only dogs and cats," explains Gibbs.

The homeowner is doing nothing wrong. That's because they live in Boone County where there's no law against keeping livestock in cold weather. But if this was in Kenton County, it would be a different story.

"Anytime the National Weather Service issues any kind of advisory, they must bring their animals inside. There is no if, ands, or buts," explains Dan Evans.

Dan Evans with the Kenton County Animal Shelter says last year they changed the county ordinance to further protect animals, including livestock, from extreme temperatures.

"It's a county ordinance that specifies what the shelter is for livestock and it has to be of natural material, a barn, a lean-to, things like that and it has to be clear of debris," explains Evans.

Evans says the amount of time that some animals can last in these conditions isn't long.

"They are pretty used to being out in extreme weather conditions but a lean-to, a barn it is appropriate and it is extreme and it is deadly right now," Evans.

"When there's no shelter of any kind, no woods for them to get into, and they have to have frozen water -- it just makes me sick every time I have to look out and see them on the hillside," says Gibbs.

Gibbs hopes that other counties across the Tri-State will adopt a similar ordinance for the protection of these animals.

The Kenton County Animal Shelter warns that if you leave any of your animals unattended and outdoors during this kind of weather, they will take your pet.

You could even face fines or jail time.

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