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Frigid temperatures have settle in to central Illinois for the first time this year and local law enforcement officials and pet advocates are reminding residents of a new law to protect your animals.

When the temperatures fall below freezing and weather advisories are issued, it is now the law you provide your pets with proper shelter. Heather Wantland with Second Chance for Pets in DeWitt County says the law is not very specific for enforcement, but she says it now against the law to allow your pets to suffer in the extreme cold.

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says owning an animal requires the responsibility of the owners to take care of them and provide their care. He says it is now the law to make arrangements for them to have adequate shelter during these cold spells.

According to Wantland, the Illinois Humane Act requires pet owners who have their pets outside to provide them with a least a ten foot leash along with a some sort of shelter, food and water.

The law reads quote-"No owner of a companion animal may expose a dog or cat in a manner that place the dog or cat in a life-threatening situation for a prolonged period of time in extreme heat or cold."

The violation of this law is a Class A misdemeanor.

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