ST. CLOUD - With our recent stretch of cold weather, animal lovers are concerned about dogs being left outside. St. Cloud Animal Control Officer Matt O'Brien says there's a statewide animal cruelty statute that's in effect from November 1st through March 31st.

O'Brien says the doghouse also has to have suitable bedding, such as straw, cedar shavings, or blankets. If they don't, the dog can be taken from the home...

O'Brien says most of their complaints come from concerned neighbors.But, he says officers who get called to a home in the warmer months can, and do, make notes about a dog's living conditions and will follow-up in the winter months. St. Cloud residents who see a dog outside in the cold without proper shelter can call O'Brien directly at 650-3164. Also, anyone can call the non-emergency number for their local police department or sheriff's department to report a concern.

St. Cloud animal control responded to 132 animal cruelty complaints in 2013.