Dog owner takes Beagles out of the cold and turns them over to a - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Dog owner takes Beagles out of the cold and turns them over to authorities

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A public outcry over two dogs left outside in the bitter cold has the owner of the animals voluntarily turning them over to humane agents.

But the Mahoning County Dog Warden's Office says despite the animal owner's decision, legally he's done nothing wrong.

Photos posted on the Internet of two Beagles braving the arctic cold temperatures in outdoor cages created a fire storm of controversy.

Complaint calls came in from as far away as Canada and Washington state accusing the Youngstown owner of treating the animals inhumanely. Youngstown police, the dog warden, the mayor and the 21 newsroom were all flooded with calls of concern for the animals.

One woman who did not want to be identified told 21 News, "It's just cruel, cruel to the dogs. Because they are very nice, loving, and they shouldn't be out in such cold weather."

Now, the 83-year-old owner of six-year-old Bob, and 12-year-old Bo, has voluntarily handed over the Beagles he used for hunting to the Mahoning County Dog Warden's Office.

The animals appeared healthy, other than the scratches they inflicted on each other when housed in the same cage at the dog warden's office.

The owner did take them inside from the cold Sunday night, after several visits from police and humane agents.

Dave Nelson, Mahoning County's Deputy Dog Warden says, "He had called me and said he would just assume turn them over, and let the dogs get adopted out from here because of the amount of trouble, and some threats that were made against him."

Humane agents admit there is a fine line, because hunting animals are often bred outside.

But as the temperatures drop, they advise everyone to bring their animals in from the cold.

So did the 83-year-old dog owner do anything wrong?

Nelson says no. "Legally he didn't do anything wrong. I wouldn't be able to charge him. He had a license, he had proper shelter, he had food and water that were in the bowls out there."

The two Beagles are now being fostered by a Youngstown couple who plan to clean them up, get them veterinary care, and help Angels for Animals find them a permanent home.

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