FRHS: Extreme cold weather safety tips for animals


Fayette County Chief Humane Agent Brad Adams is suggesting that outdoor pets are brought into a warm enclosure with the expected extreme cold temperatures moving into our area.

“If pets must remain outdoors, please make sure their shelter is adequate to protect them from the elements. Any animals outdoors in extremely cold temperatures and other inclement weather without protection could become very sick, suffer, or even die,” said Adams.

Please add plenty of content such as straw inside and around their shelter to add insulation and warmth. Do not use hay or blankets as those items become wet and frozen, and can cause your pet to become colder, said Adams.

Their shelter should be elevated from the ground with a floor, three sides, a roof, and a doorway large enough for them to easily access the inside and have a windbreak. A flap of material should also cover the entrance to help keep any additional wind from blowing inside and make sure the type of material used doesn’t compromise the animal from getting through the entrance. Be careful not to use fabric as it becomes wet and frozen. The structure should be large enough for the animals to stand up, turn around, and lie down but small enough that the animal can retain the body heat that it produces. Provide plenty of unfrozen water for hydration at all times, and extra nutritional food as animals burn more energy to stay warm.

Adams said it’s also important to make sure that tethers don’t become frozen to the ground, which would prevent a dog’s mobility to move around and get inside the shelter.

Horses and livestock must also have access to adequate shelter according to their species type, food, and water.

Please consider helping outdoor community cats by providing them with good shelter, food, and water. There are plenty of great ideas on social media platforms such as YouTube and Pinterest for cat enclosures.

Humane Agents are available 24 hours, seven days a week, holidays included, to respond to concerns about the welfare of animals. If anyone sees an animal outside without adequate shelter, food, water, medical care, or any other concern relating to their well-being, please call 740-335-8126, select option 2, and leave a voicemail to make a report. Concerned citizens may also make a report through the Fayette Regional Humane Society website at — and if it is an emergency, please call the Washington C.H. Police Department or the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, which have the ability to dispatch a humane agent.

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