While many things seem like they might be and should be common sense, there are still laws to protect not just humans in Massachusetts, but their pets as well.

We all know that wintertime in Berkshire County brings not just snow but freezing cold temperatures which can be harmful to us and of course our fur babies. While it might seem like a no-brainer to keep your dog inside when temperatures are dangerous, there are still regulations in place to protect your pups well being.

In Massachusetts, the laws protecting pets from being left out in freezing temperatures have less to do with the weather and more to do with tethering an animal in general.

According to the Massachusetts Animal Welfare Act (Section 174E of Chapter 140) the state prohibits tethering dogs outside for more than five hours at a time regardless of the temperature. The same law makes the tethering of dogs anytime from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. illegal if it's for more than 15 of a supervised interval. Those who do violate these laws can be penalized anywhere between $50 for first offenses to $300 for repeat offenders.

So what should you do if you know of a dog left out in the cold? The Humane Society of the United States says the following:

We encourage you to contact local law enforcement agencies because pets left outside in extreme temperatures, especially without food or shelter, are at risk of hypothermia, frostbite and even death.


So keep those animals safe and bring them back inside after an appropriate amount of time!

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

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