TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Animal control and rescues say they have received an abundance of calls and messages about strays and pets that have been left outside to fend for themselves recently.

“It’s cold outside bring your dogs inside. Make sure they have proper dog houses (and) a place where they can get out of the rain and the wind,” says Kerri Long, Tyler Police Department Community Response Officer.

Long is taking it into her own hands to help out. She was tagged many times on a Facebook post about mistreated animals, so she gave out her own personal number.

Long took time out of her day to go out to each welfare check and made sure someone responded if she couldn’t.

“With the new chain law that went into effect on the 18th we are getting a lot of calls as are other rescues about dogs on chains,” says Gwen Coyle, co-founder of Angels Paw Advocates.

Texas’ new Safe Outdoor Dog Act has played a big part in helping get the animals taken care of.

“We now have a new law in the books that says that you must provide a dog outside with a house and a house has got to be able to protect them from the elements, the cold, the wet, the sleet. If law enforcement respond to this and you’re not in compliance you can actually be ticketed now,” says Deborah Dobbs, founder of SPCA of East Texas.

Long says officers would rather educate people instead of giving them a ticket. She also says her love for animals is what inspires her to step up to help. She also asked dispatch to send her to all of the animal calls.

“Dogs can’t speak, so I can be their voice for them when I am checking if they have food, water and shelter,” says Long.

She says she was only doing her job, but others believe she went above and beyond the call of duty.