Experts warn animals can’t be left out in cold
Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The Animal Care Adoption Network, founded in 1994, issued a warning this week that no one should leave animals outdoors for more than a few minutes in winter temperatures.
“If you know anyone who keeps pets outdoors, persuade them to bring them inside. Low temperatures, winds and precipitation can lead to illness, hypothermia and death,” said Pam Porteous of the local chapter in Pontiac.
“Water bowls freeze in cold weather. Dogs and cats can suffer from frostbite in a matter of minutes, mainly on feet, ears and tails,” she said.
Local laws require that if dogs are kept outdoors, the owner must supply the dog with proper shelter from the weather which requires that the dog house is not oversized, since the dog needs to retain body heat; a wind flap on the dog house door; plenty of dry straw and access to fresh, unfrozen water, she said.
Other items Porteous noted include:
Snow is not sufficient to hydrate animals.
Doghouses must be elevated off the ground so they don’t freeze on the bottom.
Blankets and towels freeze when used in a doghouse.
Double up on food intake during cold weather, extra weight keeps them warmer.
“If you see a dog in need of a help, become that dog’s advocate. Speak with the owner, and if that fails to improve the situation, contact your local animal shelter, humane society or animal control office,” Porteous said.
Felines that spend time outside can freeze, or get lost or injured, she added.
The Michigan Animal Adoption Network is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization for animal rescue in the Metro Detroit area. The group continually strives for new and different ways to educate the public, to raise money to continue its street rescue efforts and to find loving homes for homeless pets.
To date, the group has placed more than 4,500 dogs and cats through the Adopt-A-Pet program and visited over 90,000 addresses to offer assistance through the Animal Care Network. These programs recently received national recognition from Linda Ellerbee of Nickelodeon News.
For more information, visit mi-aan.org or call 248-678-2756.
To donate, send checks to: Animal Care Network, P. O. Box 566, Roseville, MI 48066.
— Press staff report