It's been bitterly cold in Minnesota lately and some dog owners are not offering their pets adequate protection from the cold.
Minnesota law protects all dogs from the dangers of extreme weather.
Statute 343.40 DOG HOUSES reads in part:
Subdivision 1. In general.
A person in charge or control of any dog which is kept outdoors or in an unheated enclosure shall provide the dog with shelter and bedding as prescribed in this section as a minimum.
Subd. 2. Building specifications.
The shelter shall include a moistureproof and windproof structure of suitable size to accommodate the dog and allow retention of body heat. It shall be made of durable material with a solid, moistureproof floor or a floor raised at least two inches from the ground. Between November 1 and March 31 the structure must have a windbreak at the entrance. The structure shall be provided with a sufficient quantity of suitable bedding material consisting of hay, straw, cedar shavings, blankets, or the equivalent, to provide insulation and protection against cold and dampness and promote retention of body heat.
Subd. 3. Shade.
Shade from the direct rays of the sun, during the months of May to October shall be provided.
Subd. 4. Farm dogs.
In lieu of the requirements of subdivisions 2 and 3, a dog kept on a farm may be provided with access to a barn with a sufficient quantity of loose hay or bedding to protect against cold and dampness.
Violation is a petty misdemeanor.
In addition, the law provides for police officers and animal control officers to remove animals who are not being properly protected from the elements:
343.29 EXPOSURE OF ANIMALS; DUTY OF OFFICERS.
Subdivision 1. Delivery to shelter.
Any peace officer, animal control officer, or agent of the federation or county or district societies for the prevention of cruelty, may remove, shelter, and care for any animal which is not properly sheltered from cold, hot, or inclement weather or any animal not properly fed and watered, or provided with suitable food and drink in circumstances that threaten the life of the animal. When necessary, a peace officer, animal control officer, or agent may deliver the animal to another person to be sheltered and cared for, and furnished with suitable food and drink. In all cases, the owner, if known, shall be immediately notified as provided in section 343.235, subdivision 3, and the person having possession of the animal, shall have a lien thereon for its actual costs of care and keeping and the expenses of the notice.
See Chapter 343. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the full text of each statute.