KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Cold days and colder nights are just as unbearable for our pets as they are for us. 

Officials at Young-Williams Animal Center said people leaving their pets outside in the cold is still a problem in Knoxville. 

"My first reaction is that it's selfish. If it's uncomfortable for you it will be uncomfortable for any animal," Courtney Kliman, The Marketing Manager at YWAC, said. 

Courtney Kliman with Young-Williams is encouraging anyone with an outside pet to bring them inside. 

"If you leave a pet in that environment for that amount of time, it will eventually kill them," Kliman said. 

The City of Knoxville has an ordinance in place saying dogs need to have well-constructed shelter, barn, doghouse, or other shelter sufficient to protect the animal from the elements that's 2 inches off the ground. 

Knoxville City Ordinance: "Access to a well-constructed shelter, barn, doghouse, or other shelter sufficient to protect the animal from the elements. Such shelter must be placed in a dry area free of debris, feces, and standing water. It must have at least three (3) sides and a weatherproof roof; have a solid level floor raised at least two (2) inches from the ground and be adequately ventilated; it must provide shelter from wind, rain, sun and the elements at all times"

And at Young-Williams, anytime someone adopts, this question comes up...

"We do ask them what their intentions are. We as if they plan to have an indoor or outdoor pet," Kliman said. 

Kliman said some dogs are obviously more fit to be in the elements

"A Great Pyrenees would do well if they're used to it," Kliman said. 

They still have to educate people about how to properly care for a dog. 

"Anything below 32 degrees is against the law and inhumane," Kliman said. 

With temperatures in the 20s, dogs were barking all over South Knoxville on Monday.  

"It actually breaks my heart because some people just don't care," Chandler Cox said. 

One resident, Chandler Cox, said it's sad that people can't care for their own pets.

"Dogs are just like a little kid, they need all the love and warmth that we need too," Cox said. 

If your dog is spending time outside a well-insulated dog house is a must. The humane society said it should be sturdy, dry, and draft-free.The flooring should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw.