The dog, a male named Jiffy, was discovered and its owner arrested on suspicion of animal neglect this morning, said Lt. Tim Eirich of the Sheboygan Police Department. The owner, a 59-year-old woman, lives in the 1500 block of John Court.
The dog is being cared for at the Humane Society and is expected to survive, but it is not clear what long-term effects the overnight freeze may have had, shelter manager Carey Payne said.
"The dog is comfortable right now and is being evaluated for possible damage. We won't know for a few days what the extent is," Payne said. "He was frozen to the sidewalk, so myself and two other employees had to pour some warm water over the dog's back end to get him off the sidewalk."
Payne said the dog can barely move, but shelter workers aren't sure if that's from the incident or the dog's excessive weight. Jiffy is 11 or 12 years old, Eirich said.
The owner told police she tried to get the dog inside but was unable to, and instead checked on the dog every few hours, Eirich said. The temperature dipped to 6 degrees overnight, according to the National Weather Service.
Payne said few dogs could survive a night outdoors at that temperature.
"Being insulated as well as he was with the layers of fat he had probably saved the dog's life," she said.
The woman was trying to drag the dog inside when police arrived about 9:15 a.m., Eirich said. Officers responded after a neighbor noticed the dog and called police.
The case has been referred to the Sheboygan County district attorney's office for possible charges. Police are asking for a charge of misdemeanor animal neglect.