HINTON, WV (WVNS) — One local sheriff’s department is warning residents to keep their pets warm to avoid possible animal cruelty charges.

The Summers County Sheriff’s Department released guidelines from the West Virginia Code which states an animal must have adequate shelter. This includes proper food, water, and shelter which protects the animal from the weather.

Chief Deputy Timmy Adkins said they receive numerous calls throughout the winter about animals being left out for too long.

He said the sheriff’s department is cracking down.

“Any weather conditions where it would be deemed cruel to leave an animal out without shelter, we’re going to take it very seriously as well as animals being chained up cruelly,” Adkins said.

Adkins said this policy is inclusive to all animals including dogs, cats, horses, and other domesticated animals.