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Dog Left Outside During Polar Vortex Taken By Police, Sparking Legal Battle Should the the owners be allowed to get the dog back?


A legal battle is taking place in Illinois over a dog named Maverick. Under a new state law, dogs can be seized if law enforcement officers find that their lives and well-being is in question.

Last Tuesday, as the Polar Vortex reached record low temps, neighbors noticed Maverick outside as usual and called the police stating that they feared he may freeze to death. He’s an outdoor dog who lives outdoors year-round. His owners insisted his living quarters were good enough for the record low temps, but police disagreed.

“If you see an animal, now you can call law enforcement and they’re able to act under this law to take an animal out,” said Heather Owen, One Tail at a Time. “So, it’s a lifeline for pets and for animals outside that are in a very bad situation.”

The new state law only allows for temporary seizure of animals.

“It’s a temporary fix and that’s important because it’s not like people are getting their dogs taken away and they can’t get them back. They still have due process under this law,” Owen said,

Maverick is currently residing in the Knox County Humane Society.

“He’s very loving, he’s very playful. He deserves a better life,” Knox County Humane Society Board Member Rox Parks said.

Neighbors say they’re happy he was removed because they think he may not have made it if left outdoors.

“We’ve had a lot of public outcry saying do not give this beautiful dog back,” Parks said.

While the situation isn’t yet resolved, this seizure is the first major case of the new law aimed at helping animals being enforced.

“I would hope that Maverick`s owners would work with the community and law enforcement to agree on a safe space for him, somewhere he can go when it’s warm or there’s another inclement weather because all animals deserve a warm home, a warm bed,” Owen said.

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