If you leave a dog outside when it is sick, hungry or thirsty, you are in violation of federal law. It’s much more likely that dog owners will be prosecuted with criminal charges than with civil complaints.
Why can’t an animal be left outside? Even if an animal is sick or dehydrated, if you leave it outside, you can be arrested and prosecuted. There’s currently no state law in Indiana to protect pets from being left outdoors. This is a problem because Indiana is one of a handful of states that have no statutory requirement for owners to keep animals indoors. This means if a dog or other animal gets into trouble outside, it’s up to you to protect the animal.
What can I do if I have to take care of an animal that is sick or injured? Most states allow you to take time away from work to help an animal that’s in distress. In Indiana, this means you can:
Take care of the animal, such as feed it, get it a walk, and take it for a walk,
Leave a food container nearby to feed the animal
Treat a sick animal or wounded animal to prevent further injury, and/or
Go to work, attend school, or other non-touristy activities whenever your local animal control office gives permission and a dog or cat can be safely returned to its owner.
I’ve got a disabled pet. Can I leave it outside with my child? If you have a visually impaired pet, you may not be able to pick it up and bring it to a pet park because your business is located in a town/city with a law that limits animals to the interior of the premises. Even if you live in a suburb or rural area with the law on the books, it’s still possible to find a legal way to take care of a dog or cat in your home.
I have a service animal. Won’t my service animal be taken away? Even if you own your service animal and have not violated any state laws regarding the ownership of animals, you may still face liability if your service animal is confiscated by an animal control officer. Even if your service animal is wearing a body shield, you may still face legal liabilities if your animal falls into the hands of someone other than you. And while it seems pretty obvious that not wearing a body shield and having a visible body guard is a clear way to get around a service animal mandate, many agencies don’t know how to enforce their rule, and have been
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