Harford County Sheriff's Office

With courage, honor, and integrity, we protect the rights of all citizens


Animal Care

Winter Shelter

Harford County Animal Control Officers remind us to try to keep our pets inside as much as possible in winter, noting that "if it's too cold for you, it's most likely too cold for your pets!"

What defines "shelter"?

According to the Harford County Code, a Shelter Must Be:

  • Weatherproof: The shelter must be of solid construction with no cracks or openings other than the entrance. It should be made of wood with no metal interior surfaces.
  • Elevated: The floor of the shelter must be elevated off the ground at least 4 inches.
  • Protected Entrance: The door must be covered with a flexible flap in cold, windy and rainy weather.
  • Bedding: Bedding must be DRY. Straw, leaves, shredded paper and cedar chips make excellent bedding material. Rugs and blankets are not recommended, because they will hold wetness and can freeze.
  • Size: The shelter should be large enough to allow the pet to stand, turn and lie down comfortably, and just small enough to allow the animal to warm the interior with its body heat. The door should be just large enough to allow the animal to easily enter.
  • Food: The pet must have a sufficient supply of food and potable water for daily consumption.

Remember, providing your pet protection from the weather, is required by law. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach the Animal Control Unit, during the day, by calling 410.638.3505.