PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When it gets this cold, people aren’t the only ones looking for heat and shelter.

Responsible owners know that you’ve got to look out for your pets, too. But not all are so responsible.

On cold, frigid days like this one, many pet owners will let their pets outside for a few minutes. But there are other pets that remain outside all the time, and that’s not good when it’s too cold or too hot outside.

“Today’s going to be – if an animal’s out, if they do have shelter, and the way the law defines it is the shelter has to keep the animal’s body temperature and keep him dry,” said Ron Fredley, a humane officer.

Fredley is one of six humane officers in Allegheny County.

On this cold Tuesday, he has already gotten several calls. He loads up his car with food, water, straw and crates and hits the road.

“This call is about a rabbit, living in a hutch in the backyard,” said Fredley.

The call came from Millvale.

“The shelter is inadequate. There’s no food, there’s no water,” Fredley said. “There’s nothing inside to help prevent the animal from freezing, and with the temperature the way it is now, I don’t believe it’s going to survive over the next 24 hours.”

There was no answer at the door, so the animal cop took action.

“We are going to transport this rabbit back to animal friends,” he said. “I am going to leave them a notice here.”

There are several apartments, so there is no way of knowing who owns the rabbit. If no one responds to the notice, the animal cop will be back.

The next stop is Lawrenceville to a complaint about two dogs outside in the cold.

“This is a good, they are not outside,” Fredley said.

Officer Fredley does find the owner. And while all turned out to be well there, the calls keep on coming.

“Every day could be as little as three phone calls with different animal cruelty cases for us to check in to, or it could be as high as 10 or 15,” said Fredley.

There were no citations today, but the animal cop is always watching and a citation could cost you as much as $700 or 90 days in jail.

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