LIVONIA, Mich. (WXYZ) — Livonia Animal Control says its hands are tied after several residents have complained about one homeowner leaving his three beagles outdoors in frigid temperatures.
"All pet owners should be mindful of the recent bitterly cold temperatures. While most people would not treat their animal in this way, there is no law in Michigan that requires pet owners to bring their dogs inside at a certain temperature," a statement from Livonia Animal Control read.
The three beagles who protesters say are left outdoors in the homeowner's yard year-round have been checked on several times over the years, according to local animal control. They have shelter and straw insulation. The owner has also been compliant with officers.
The animal control says the dogs are "warm to the touch" when they leave out of their dog houses, and their shelters are well maintained. So in this instance, the homeowner is not breaking any laws.
Protesters gathered outside of the home in Livonia Wednesday morning with signs to bring attention to the three dogs being left outside, especially with record cold temperatures in Michigan.
This prompted the Livonia Animal Shelter to release a statement.
Read it in full below:
All pet owners should be mindful of the recent bitterly cold temperatures. While most people would not treat their animal in this way, there is no law in Michigan that requires pet owners to bring their dogs inside at a certain temperature.
Livonia’s Animal Control Officers have checked on these pets many times over the years, including once last week, yesterday and today. The dogs have not been found to be in distress at any time. The shelter provided, along with the straw insulation, by state law must be adequate to maintain the dog in a state of good health. Two of the dogs actually score over “ideal” on a body condition score, labeling them as obese. The owner has been compliant with our officers. The dogs were warm to the touch upon exiting their dog houses. The shelters were free of feces and maintained in good sanitary condition.
While these may not be the conditions that many people would keep their own dogs, the homeowner is in compliance with state law. Unless or until there are changes in state law, we are not authorized to take action in this case.