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Leaving Pets in Cold Can Have ‘Serious Legal Consequences,’ State AG Warns

That can include charges of animal cruelty.

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RICHMOND, VA — As parts of Virginia prepare for extreme cold in the coming days, Attorney General Mark R. Herring and his Animal Law Unit are reminding Virginia pet owners and law enforcement that leaving animals out in the cold can bring “serious legal consequences.”

That can include charges of animal cruelty, Herring said in a press release.

“The law requires owners to protect their pets from the elements and gives law enforcement tools to ensure the safety and health of an animal, including the ability in certain circumstances to seize an animal to ensure its safety,” Herring said. “As we prepare for this cold snap, I’d encourage all Virginians to check on and take care of yourself, your friends, neighborhoods, and family members, and don’t forget about your animals.”

Leaving an animal exposed to the cold with no shelter or inadequate shelter can be considered animal cruelty, a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, according to the release.

Herring and the Animal Law Unit advise animal control officers to ask owners to bring the dogs inside or into adequate shelter, ask owners to surrender the animal if they are unable to provide adequate shelter, or in certain circumstances take temporary custody of the animal to ensure its safety.

In 2015, Herring created the nation’s first OAG Animal Law Unit to serve as a training and prosecution resource for state agencies, investigators and Commonwealth’s Attorneys around the state dealing with matters involving animal fighting, cruelty and welfare, according to the release.

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Video: Brave Housecat Fends Off 3 Coyotes

This feline showed moxie.

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A cat in the Highland Park neighborhood could have been in serious trouble when three coyotes came along.

But Max, who belongs to Maya Gurrin, showed amazing courage, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Max was surrounded, and the coyotes were nipping at him. But Max showed no fear. He even caused one of the coyotes to back away and jump onto a nearby wall.

“He’s always been crazy,” Gurrin said. “Like, if this were to happen with any cat, it would be him.”

The entire scene was captured on security camera.

As tough as Max may be, his owners have nonetheless decided not to let him roam outdoors anymore.

Watch the video:

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Dogs May Be More Perceptive Than We Ever Realized, Study Finds

Even untrained strays can read human gestures.

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Dogs seem to be able to interpret human gestures even when they’ve had no training, a new study has found.

As any dog owner knows, pet canines understand commands and gestures with ease. A group of researchers set out to determine whether these capabilities are innate or require training, according to a report from Frontiers Science News.

The researchers looked specifically at pointing, with Dr. Anindita Bhadra of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India, and colleagues studing stray dogs in several Indian cities.

“The researchers approached solitary stray dogs and placed two covered bowls on the ground near them,” Frontieers Science News reports. “A researcher then pointed to one of the two bowls, either momentarily or repeatedly, and recorded whether the dog approached the indicated bowl.”

About 80 percent of participating dogs successfully followed pointing gestures.

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“We thought it was quite amazing that the dogs could follow a gesture as abstract as momentary pointing,” Bhadra was quoted saying. “This means that they closely observe the human, whom they are meeting for the first time, and they use their understanding of humans to make a decision. This shows their intelligence and adaptability.”

The research was published in Frontiers in Psychology.

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State Considers Banning ‘No Pets’ Rental Listings

Some landlords are not happy about the proposed legislation.

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New Hampshire legislators are considering a ban on “no pets” notices in property listings.

Proposed legislation would forbid landlords and home sellers from barring pet owners, the Concord Monitor reports.

They could make rules related to pet deposits, noise control, sanitation and safety, according to the newspaper. But they could set make rules based on size, breed or appearance.

The legislation was proposed by state Rep. Ellen Read, a Democrat from Newmarket. It has drawn opposition from some landords who say it could lead to unsanitary conditions as well as allergy problems for some residents.

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But Julia Seeley, New Hampshire state director for the Humane Society, said her organization supports the bill.

We just strongly believe that a family should not be torn apart simply over housing,” she said.

Read more at the Concord Monitor

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