INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/CNN) – Police in Indianapolis said a man left his dog outside to die as temperatures dropped to 11 degrees below zero Tuesday night.
He then allegedly threw the animal’s body in a dumpster.
"It’s heartbreaking. I have a knot in my stomach talking about it right now,” said Kristen Lee of Indianapolis Animal Care Services.
Lee took photos showing a dog house with a thin towel covering the door and a pile of trash on top of a black pit bull.
"It breaks you down, but those animals don't have a voice. They're not able to say when they're cold. They're not able to say when they're hurt," Lee said.
Animal Care workers and Indianapolis police showed up at the home Wednesday afternoon in response to an anonymous tip, but the dog was already dead.
“More than likely, he will be arrested for the animal cruelty and abandonment,” said Sgt. William Carter with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Carter said the 62-year-old owner is cooperating with police.
Police haven’t revealed the owner’s name, but they said he owned the dog for 10 years.
"He was warned, people called him,” Carter said. “The owner of the property asked him, ‘Please take your dog in tonight,’ and he agreed that he would take it in, and for some reason, he did not take it in."
In Indianapolis, there’s a city ordinance against keeping pets outside in 20 degrees or colder, except for very short periods.
Carter said under current laws, the dog owner could face a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.