Humane society investigators in Summit County have rescued several dogs during the recent stretch of frigid days, including animals that were abandoned in houses without electricity.
On Dec. 29, a pitbull mix that had no access to food or water was removed from a vacant Akron house.
"The dog was just left to fend for itself in a very, very, very cold home," said Diane Johnson, the president of the Humane Society of Summit County.
On Jan. 3, three more pitbull mix dogs were taken from a Barberton house.
"Again, there was no heat, no water, no electricity for these animals," Johnson said.
In addition, agents removed 11 dogs from various owners who left their dogs outside without shelter or water on days with sub-zero wind chill temperatures.
"It breaks my heart," Johnson said. "These animals deserve better."
Johnson added that pets can freeze to death or suffer frostbite if left outside for long periods of time.
All of the cases are being reviewed to determine if misdemeanor or felony charges will be filed.
Johnson said proving a felony animal cruelty can be tough, but pets deliberately left in frigid conditions could meet the standard.
"You would have to show the act was done with the intent to cause very serious harm or death."