The brutally low temperatures outside are a harsh reminder we are heading into winter.

Lansford police are warning pet owners about protecting our furry friends in the cold.

"That's not fair to that dog, a living being, and it's not fair to the neighbors who also have to listen to this poor animal yelping and crying and barking and scratching," said Lansford police chief, Jack Soberick.

Soberick says as temperatures dip, his department is seeing a disturbing trend. Pet owners are not keeping their dogs safe outside.

"I don't know why people aren't aware of this, maybe it's a lack of common sense, a lack of not caring or conspicuously ignoring it," said Soberick.

It's a reminder to residents it is illegal to leave pets in below freezing conditions for more than 30 minutes. That since the adoption of a 2017 Pennsylvania animal cruelty law.

"They set limits on how long that leash had to be. It has to be three times the length of the body or more than 10 feet. It has to have a device that allows it to swivel so it wouldn't become entangled," said Soberick.

"The best thing to do is take your dog for a walk for exercise, not assume that chain or that cable is gonna be good for it," said Tom Connors, director of the Carbon County Animal Shelter.

Experts say it's common sense. If it's too cold outside for you, it's also too cold for your dogs.

"What happens with dogs is what happens with people. When it gets too cold, then your system actually breaks down and it can kill you by being out in the cold too long," said Connors.

Police warn if owners disobey tethering laws, charges will be pressed.

"If you're not in compliance and we get complaints or we investigate something we see, you're gonna be prosecuted as applicable under the law," said Soberick.

If you or someone you know needs help caring for a pet this winter, you can reach out to the Carbon County Animal Shelter.