(WBNG) -- When it comes to the cold, keeping your pets safe is extremely important.
It is illegal to leave them outside in dangerous winter conditions if they are not properly taken care of.
"Law enforcement will generally get phone calls from people driving around or maybe a neighbor or somebody who is familiar with a dog or any kind of animal that will be left outside," Lieutenant Ben Harting of the Broome County Sheriff's Office explained. "Agricultural market law will determine what adequate shelter is, so in this type of weather the dog needs to have food and water and an adequate shelter for the breed."
Municipality and county law enforcement leaders say it is important for you to contact the right authorities, should you see something out of the ordinary.
"If you suspect that an animal is being left out in the cold you should call law enforcement, or the humane society, it's not a dog control officer issue, it's a law enforcement issue," Lieutenant Michael Streno of the Vestal Police Department said.
When it comes to the safety of your pets, common sense is also key.
"If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for them, and think about that, think about their paws out there and relate it to your hand or your feet being out there without socks or shoes on," Lt. Streno added.
Leaders also say make sure to stay informed
"A lot of it is just educating the owner, explain to them what is required for the animal to have, food water, what kind of shelter," Lt. Harting explained.
All to help keep every indoor and outdoor pet safe this time of year.