(CBS) — With the thermometer down, the calls to the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society are up.

It’s not really that people are bad and purposely want to hurt their pets by leaving them outside or keeping them in a garage that’s too cold, says Dr. Robyn Barbiers, president of the Anti-Cruelty Society.

“Most of the time it’s lack of knowledge. It is not maliciousness. A lot of people think cats can live outside OK and they don’t think that a cat needs shelter.

“But it’s really cold outside right now and cats do need shelter.”

Dr. Barbiers says it’s the law: people must provide shelter, water and food for their pets.

She mentions cats especially, she says, since people are more apt to bring their dogs inside.

“Bring your pets inside, especially your cats. And if you see something, call and do something. The animals can’t speak for themselves.”

The Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society can be contacted at (312)-644-8338.

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