A photo of a dog sitting in freezing temperatures outside an Ontario business has sparked outrage online.

Karen Lane shared the image of the medium-sized guard dog after a friend sent it to her on Sunday evening.

In the photo, the animal can be seen sitting outside of its shelter on the snow-covered lot of the motorsports store Hully Gully in London, Ont. Temperatures reached a bone-chilling -20 C the night the image was captured.

“It makes me very sad that this dog is exposed to the elements,” Lane told CTV London on Monday.

Lane uploaded the photo of the dog to Facebook where it was shared more than 4,000 times and received dozens of comments by people expressing concern for the animal’s well-being.

In response to the outcry, officers from the Ontario SPCA visited Hully Gully to inspect its facilities. They found nothing wrong with the treatment of the dog.

“The dog had suitable living conditions. There was a well-built doghouse, some straw bales, and steam coming from a water bowl,” Steve Ryall, Executive Director of the Humane Society London & Middlesex, said.

To reassure the public, Hully Gully uploaded a video explaining what kind of breed the dog is and why it was outside in the cold weather.

“This is Shamus. Shamus is an Akita dog so it’s got a big double coat on him,” a woman behind the camera is heard saying. “Shamus is inside right now and he does not like being inside because he is meant to be outside.”

The woman goes on to explain that the dog has an insulated dog house with straw in it to help regulate the temperature.

“No blankets because Shamus doesn’t like blankets. He gets too hot,” she said.

The company said the SPCA was satisfied with the conditions of their outside facility and the fact that a dog handler is always on the property.

“We appreciate the concerns regarding our security dogs and we can assure you that these dogs are well taken care of by their keepers,” a statement by Hully Gully read. “The dogs and their keepers warm up together before each patrol. We thank you for your concerns.”

Although the SPCA cleared the dog owners in this case, the organization encouraged people to remain vigilant for other instances of animal mistreatment.

“It’s great that people are watching for this type of stuff and sharing that,” Ryall said.

He also advised pet owners to regularly check on their animals if they’re outside in the cold.

“Just monitor the situation,” he said. “Make sure it does have potable water and shelter of some sort, and pay attention to what’s going on with the environment.”

We have just finished visiting with the representative from the OSPCA. We asked them to come in to help address everyone’s concerns regarding our guard dog. The OSPCA has fully inspected our property and outdoor facility. They are satisfied with the conditions and that a dog handler is in on the property 24/7. They have no concerns with the animal’s treatment or their safety/well-being. Quote below from the OSPCA representative: “They are beautiful dog houses, if we could make everyone have outdoor dog houses like those, we would.”

Posted by Hully Gully on Monday, January 21, 2019