How to Narc on Your Greater Cincinnati Neighbors For Leaving Animals Outside in the Cold

It's your duty as a decent human being to try to help animals in distress. You don’t have to hop a fence and steal a dog, though (usually).

click to enlarge How to Narc on Your Greater Cincinnati Neighbors For Leaving Animals Outside in the Cold
Photo: Elke Karin Lugert/Unsplash

As winter storms blanket the Greater Cincinnati area with snow, sleet and frigid temperatures, our attention turns to protect one of our most vulnerable populations—“outdoor pets.”

While many animals can be found cozied up next to their owner beneath a blanket during these colder months, not all pets are afforded that luxury. 

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pets are just as susceptible to hypothermia, frostbite and related illnesses as their human counterparts. 

It is crucial that pets that are typically kept outdoors, whether in a fenced area or house-like crate, are given shelter inside the home as severe winter weather approaches. Harsh weather conditions will result in injury to the animal if left unprotected by negligent owners.

While many pets have a fur coat to keep warm, they can only withstand a minimal level of coldness.

Cincinnati has ordinances addressing animals' welfare. In particular, Sec. 701-26 of Cincinnati's municipal code focuses on regulations for animals during extreme weather conditions. It reads, in part:

(a) Purpose, applicability. This section establishes standards for placing dogs outdoors, providing shelter and sustenance to dogs, and for how extreme weather conditions affect the required treatment of dogs. These standards are meant to supplement, not replace or conflict with, the requirements and prohibitions related to the treatment of all types of domestic animals that are currently found in Section 959.13 of the Ohio Revised Code.

(b) Outdoor time limits during extreme weather conditions.

(1)No owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog shall leave the dog outdoors without adequate shelter for longer than sixty minutes when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

(2)No owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog shall leave the dog outdoors for longer than necessary for the dog to urinate and/or defecate without adequate shelter when the National Weather Service has issued a severe weather warning for the location in which the dog is kept or harbored. 

Read the full text of the regulation here.

If you see an animal in distress, it's your duty as a decent human being to try to help them. You don’t have to hop a fence and steal a dog, though (usually). Just use your phone.

Regional counties have phone lines and websites set up that make it easy to report animal neglect. 

To strengthen the validity of the report, the Humane Society recommends writing down the date, time, exact location and the type of animal(s) involved. Record as many details about the pet’s circumstances as possible. Video and photographic documentation of the animal and the location will also help investigators.

Your area’s animal control agencies are also investigators into animal neglect and cruelty. Witnesses can also report animal neglect to their county sheriff’s office.

If the situation has not been remedied within a few days, you can call the investigative agency for a follow-up.

In the Greater Cincinnati region, check out these resources:

For those in Hamilton County, witnesses of animal neglect are to contact the Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society at 513-541-PETS (7387). 

For those in Campbell County, you can report an animal care complaint on this website.

For those in Kenton County, you can report animal neglect to Animal Services by calling 859-356-7400. After hours, contact animal control through Kenton County non-emergency dispatch at 859-356-3191.

For those in Butler County, you can report animal neglect to the Butler County’s Sheriff Office at 513-785-1300. You also can call 513-785-1309 for the non-emergency dog warden.

For those in Warren County, you can report animal neglect to the Warren County Dog Shelter at 513-695-1352. After hours, call the dog warden dispatch at 513-695-2525.

For those in Clermont County, you can report animal neglect to the Clermont County Animal Shelter at 513-732-8854 or 513-732-2231 for its cruelty hotline. You can also file a report with the Clermont County Sheriff at 513-732-7500. After hours, call the League for Animal Welfare at 513-735-2299 or the Sheriff’s Department at 513-732-7500.


CityBeat has updated this story with information from Cincinnati's municipal code and new resources for all counties.

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