COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Prince George's County Animal Management was forced to remove a Rottweiler from its home Sunday afternoon after complaints that the owner left the dog exposed to the bitter cold weather much of the past week without proper shelter.
"Per my officer getting to the scene, he saw the same situation that the College Park (officials) saw on Thursday, which was the dog was outside without proper shelter in the cold temperatures. So, the dog was impounded," says Chief Rodney Taylor with Prince George's County Animal Management Division.
An official from the City of College Park Animal Control (CCPAC) went to the property on Friday, and issued the dog's owner a warning, according to sources. Temperatures that day fell to a low of 19 degrees in the Washington, D.C. area, according to the National Weather Service.
The CCPAC refused to comment to WTOP on the handling of the case.
"As the temperature dipped I got really concerned, and that's when I contacted animal control in College Park," says a citizen who first notified authorities of the situation Thursday. The dog was seen tethered to a deck in the backyard past midnight some days, according to the citizen, who lives in the neighborhood, and spoke to WTOP on the condition of anonymity over concern for her safety.
Prince George's County requires dogs kept outside for extended periods of time to be provided with proper shelter.
Click here for the county rules regulations and recommendations for sheltering dogs.
The Rotweiller is currently being held in the Prince George's County Animal Services Facility in Upper Marlboro. In order to get the dog back, the owner must pass a home inspection by the county's animal management.
"If he meets everything he needs to meet, he can redeem his dog and take it home," says Taylor.
WTOP went to the home of the dog owner Sunday night for comment, but knocks on the door went unanswered.
The wooden deck in the back of the home where the dog was said to be tethered is attached to the back door. Two lawn chairs adorn a corner, and a "Beware of Dog" sign is stamped on the outside of the staircase leading to the yard.
There is no fencing on the property.
Edward Schwartz lives across the street. He says the dog was aggressive and barked a lot, and although he never had any specific issues, he won't be heartbroken if the dog doesn't return.
"He's a nice guy who lives there, but I hate his dog," Schwartz says.
Another neighbor says she's never had an issue with the dog or the owner.
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