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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — There are new rules coming in Hamilton County to help protect animals in extreme weather conditions.

County commissioners have approved changes to the county’s animal ordinance to include tougher penalties for animal neglect. It’s the first update to the ordinance in 13 years.

The new guidelines detail new definitions and penalties for backyard breeders, puppy mills, animal abuse, and neglect.

Offenders can lose their pets, face up to a $2,500 fine, and possibly be required to undergo counseling.

The revised ordinance also establishes new temperature guidelines and provides a clearer definition of what constitutes adequate food, water, and shelter for pets.

The new temperature range for animals left outside is between 40 and 80 degrees. A pet must be kept inside if the outside temperature is above 80° or below 40°. Situations can vary based on an officer’s discretion.

The ordinance will be enforceable in unincorporated areas of the county starting November 15.

(Photo by Pavel Rodimov/Thinkstock.)