Freezing dog found tied to tree outside shelter during snowstorm

An animal shelter in Utah had to remind residents not to leave pets outside their facility after workers found a freezing dog tied up to a tree in the snow.

"Leaving them tied up with no shelter or water is a crime," South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood Promise said in a Facebook post. "We ask that you call us and we will see what we can do to help you and your pet. Do not just leave your animals at the front of a shelter."

Officials said the dog is now safe, warm and "decompressing for a few days," but the outcome could have been far worse.

"We will get to know him as he gets warm and opens up to us," they said.

READ MORE: Video shows dogs being rescued from alleged training facility for dog fighting

Tips for caring for dogs in cold weather

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, here are some things you can do to keep your pets safe in cold weather:

A dog wearing boots pranced along Boylston Street in Boston's Back Bay as snow fell, Jan. 7, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

  • Shorten your dog’s walks, especially if it is very young, elderly or has arthritis. Short-haired pets will get cold faster, and short-legged pets are more likely to reach the snow-covered ground. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing's disease) are more susceptible to problems from cold weather.
  • After your walk, wipe down or wash your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove de-icing products, antifreeze and other chemicals your dog may encounter in the cold. This reduces the risk of your dog licking the toxic chemicals off their paws.
  • Use pet-safe de-icers
  • Check underneath your car, bang on the hood and honk your horn before starting it in case their are stray cats under the hood.
  • Consider a doggie coat or sweater for smaller, short-haired dogs. Make sure to keep several of them on hand so you have a dry one each time your dog needs to go out. Wet dogs can make your dog colder.
  • Don’t take your pets out in the car unless it’s necessary. Like hot cars, cold cars can be dangerous for your pet — the inside will quickly become "like a refrigerator." Don’t leave your pet unattended in the vehicle.