HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — With the winter season upon us, state police are reminding pet owners of potential legal consequences if their animals are not provided with basic needs.

Whether pets are kept indoors or outdoors, those who do not provide their animals with proper shelter, food, water and veterinary care could face potential animal neglect and/or cruelty charges.

“Basic needs include the proper sustenance to maintain a healthy body weight, as well as clean, unfrozen water to avoid dehydration,” Pennsylvania State Police Animal Cruelty Officer and Corporal Michael Spada said. “It is important to note that animals need just as much water in the cold of winter as they do in the heat of summer.”

Certain requirements must also be met if a dog is tethered outside, according to the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.

Troopers also remind those who plan to give pets as gifts during the holiday season to research the animal’s breed, behavior, size, needs and costs as some are later surrendered to humane societies or rescues after a few months.

Additional information can be found on the Pennsylvania State Police website.

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