By Charlie De Mar

CHICAGO (CBS)—It’s hard to believe it when you see his happy face, but a dog left out in the cold during Friday’s frigid cold spell has been nothing but smiles since he was rescued.

It was brutal for humans to be standing outside this week, and it’s illegal to keep pets outside.

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Some people don’t listen to the laws designed to protect animals, however.

A dog left out in the cold last night was saved by a police officer.

A dog without identification tags was found nearly frozen to death this week before a police officer found him and brought him indoors.

Attached to tangled cable twisted around a tree, some frozen clothing and a makeshift igloo shelter, a dog discovered by a police officer in south suburban Harvey was a heartbreaking sight.

The officer removed the dog from the frozen backyard of a home Thursday night. His feet were so cold he couldn’t touch his paw pads to the ground.

“People need to understand that no structure like that is going to be warm enough for pets in this type of weather,” said Emily Klehm of the South Suburban Humane Society.

Leaving your pet out in the extreme elements can lead to a misdemeanor and fines ranging up to several thousand dollars.

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But a new amendment to the law likely saved this dog. The updated law allows police to take a pet in distress into custody.

“I think it’s huge because it gives law enforcement officials the tools they need to save the pet,” Klehm said. “Their hands were really tied before the amendment to that law.”

No one answered the door Friday at the home where the dog was found.

If you see a cat or dog outside you are asked to speak up and call police or a local animal shelter.

The Anti-Cruelty Society’s phone number is 312-644-8338.


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Charlie De Mar