Letter: Heat shows need for county to revise animal welfare code

Letter: Heat shows need for county to revise animal welfare code

From: Nancy Ray


As I write on July 27, 2023, it’s a perfect day to demonstrate one of the nonsensical differences between the City of Columbus Animal Ordinance and the Bartholomew County Animal Ordinance. The temperature is 95 degrees with a real-feel temperature of 108 and a real feel shade temp of 103. There is a heat advisory in effect with heat index values up to 109.

Now the dogs and cats that live within the city limits are protected in the city ordinance which states, “Every owner of an animal within the city shall see that their animal on any day when the temperature is at or above 80 degrees, their shelter must be shaded by trees, a tarp or tarp-like device. The animal must be brought into a temperature-controlled facility when the temperature is at or above 90 degrees or when a heat advisory is issued by the local, state or national authorities except when the animal is in visual range of a competent adult who is outside with the animal.”

The county ordinance states, “No owner shall fail to provide his animal with protection from the weather.” That’s it. Too vague and open to individual interpretation to be enforceable.

I have heard the director of county animal control and at least one of the County Commissioners say a dog has a dog house it can get into for shade. But the truth is a doghouse keeps heat in, and during hot weather, a dog house is essentially an oven.

So if you are an animal, hopefully you are lucky enough to live in the city limits because of the exceptionally hot conditions.

If you are an animal that lives in Bartholomew County but outside Columbus city limits, I pray you have a responsible, compassionate owner who won’t leave you outside in this heat 24/7.

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are dangerous for pets and can be fatal.

My heart breaks for our Bartholomew County animals outside in his heat. If only they were fortunate enough to live inside the city limits.

Letter: Heat shows need for county to revise animal welfare code

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