Wintertime Animal Safety Tips

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INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — January 2022 has kicked off with a cold start and temperatures reaching the single digits. Officials with the Ingham County Animal Shelter (ICAS) say there are many easy ways pet owners can protect their pets when it’s freezing outside.

Over the last two years, officials with Peta have rescued over 400 animals across the country from freezing to death.

Animal officials in Mid-Michigan say they’ve recently gotten a handful of calls reporting animals being left out in the cold.

According to the ICAS, the state of Michigan does allow you to leave your dog outside during the winter months, but you need provide them with certain resources.

Pet Safety Tips for the Cold Winter Months:

  • Provide them with a safe place that’s sanitary and free from waste.
  • Make sure they have drinkable water that’s not frozen.
  • Ensure that they are given food that’s easily accessible.

Officials say during these winter months, animals need more food than normal to stay warm. They also added, to always make sure you are checking on them throughout the day.

The ICAS says If you’re taking your pet out for walks, remember to clean off their paws, stomach and
remove all ice and salt that may be stuck.

Officials also advise keeping them inside if possible, but if they are in a dog house, remember to use the proper materials for warmth such as straw rather than old clothes.

“There are working breeds like Alaskans, husky’s, those dogs have double coats and are much more able to handle the cold weather than say a pit bull, or a lab, or a beagle or chihuahua,” Heidi Williams, Ingham County Animal Shelter Director said.

The ICAS says is vitally important to remember if it’s too cold out for you, they say it’s probably too cold out for your pet.

Animal neglect can escalate to a misdemeanor and even a felony if its a second violation.

Animal officials say if you see an animal that you truly feel is being neglected, reach out to your local law enforcement.

“We try to educate the public, we try to help them take better care of the animals,” Williams said. “But if you are neglecting your dogs, we are going to seize your dogs and pursue criminal charges.”

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