Harry D. Brown III has had a busy week.

With low temperatures dipping into single digits and highs struggling to reach above 20 degrees, the humane police officer for the Animal Rescue League of Berks County has headed out on at least 50 calls reporting pets left out in the cold.

On Saturday morning alone - finishing off complaints he simply didn't have time to address during the workweek - he found himself in Kenhorst, Womelsdorf and Hamburg.

"It's been constant," he said.

Brown said his full schedule is in part thanks to a new Pennsylvania law, which forbids pet owners to tether dogs outdoors for more than 30 minutes when the temperature dips below 32 degrees.

The majority of Brown's calls have been for reports, from neighbors or often from utility workers making their rounds, of dogs being left outside.

In 99 percent of the cases, he said, his visit is simply educational.

Brown said he informs people of the new law and lets them know that wind chill effects all living things. He also tells them that a shelter for a pet must be small enough that it retains the animal's body heat, meaning that an unheated shed is usually not suitable.

"The best answer is to just bring them indoors, or at least into a garage," Brown said.

And that's exactly what most people do, he said.

Although it's been running him ragged, Brown said the increase in complaint calls is a good thing. It's a way to make sure as many animals as possible are safe this winter.

"We can't have out eyes on the whole county," he said. "So keep calling."

The shelter's number is 610-373-8830.

Contact David Mekeel: 610-371-5014 or dmekeel@readingeagle.com.