Single-digit temps to come, Oakland County animal advocates urge pet safety – January 4, 2015

By John Turk, The Oakland Press

With single-digit temperatures arriving in the Oakland County area in the coming days, animal advocates are urging families to keep their pets indoors.

Animal Care Network volunteers will be out checking on dogs and cats throughout the Pontiac area, said manager Pam Porteous.

“It’s a common belief that dogs and cats are more resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it’s untrue,” said Porteous.

“Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside.”

Low pressure systems and cold arctic air from Canada has quickly changed the climate in Oakland County, and the low temperatures will continue to creep downwards, according to the National Weather Service.

Rachel Kulik, meteorologist at the Weather Service office in White Lake, said a windchill advisory for the region will likely be released later in the week.

“Oakland County will see wind chills well under the negative digits in that time frame,” said Kulik.

Through Friday, the high temperature will be 20 degrees, while on Wednesday, lows will touch zero.

Kulik added that with the low wind chills and temperatures, residents should bundle up and cover any exposed skin while outside.

“The cold air is also expected through the next week,” she said.

Animal Care Network’s Porteous said she wants to remind those in Pontiac — where Oakland County Animal Control and her teams patrol — and throughout the county that local laws require that if dogs are kept outdoors, the owner must provide the dog with proper shelter.

Proper shelter for an outdoor animal includes:

• A smaller shelter space, so the animal can conserve body heat.

• A wind flap on the dog house floor.

• Plenty of dry straw and access to fresh, unfrozen water

• Elevated doghouses so the foundations don’t freeze.

• Doubled food intake for pets.

Those who spot a dog or cat in need of help, said Porteous, can talk to the animal’s owner or contact their local animal shelter, humane society or animal control agency.

Contact Animal Care Network at 248-678-2756 or at

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