Citizens concerned for dogs left living outside in subzero temperatures has doubled the number of calls recently to the humane society.
Freezing temperatures in the region have plunged below zero this week with frigid wind chill. Brad Adams, humane agent and outreach director of the Fayette Humane Society, said Tuesday that calls have doubled to the humane society from people who are growing concerned for any dogs living outside in the subzero temperatures.
Adams received four calls Tuesday from people in Fayette County, and said the humane society received about 10 calls last week, double the number they would normally receive.
“Even some of the dogs that have dog houses, we received calls to check their well-being and to make sure they have the necessities to survive in the subzero temperatures such as water and straw,” said Adams.
Adams said he is not aware of any incidents where dogs have died from being outside in the extreme cold.
“Fortunately in all of the calls that we have received, all of the dogs had access to shelter. We were there to make sure they had the necessities and to provide education on how to take care of the animal,” said Adams.
By law, in the Ohio Revised Code, dogs can be left outside as long as the dog has proper shelter, food and water.
Adams said the law does not stipulate which breeds of dogs can be left outside and which cannot be left outside. Regardless of breed, Adams said all dogs will need some extra protection in the winter because dogs can get frostbite and die from the affects of the cold.
Add bedding (straw) and a flap over the door of the dog house to add extra protection, said Adams, and elevate a plastic dog house off the frozen ground.
Blankets are a bad idea for bedding, Adams said, because they become wet and frozen.
“If you have an outdoor dog, make sure it has a building with three sides and roof. Put some straw bales around it and straw inside. Or put them in a shed if you have one,” said Adams.
Water should be checked regularly and replaced when it becomes frozen, and Adams said dog owners should check on the dog’s water throughout the day, not just once in the morning and evening hours.
“In these extreme temperatures, dogs definitely need to have hydration. And also, they need more food than normal. People should always provide their dog with extra nutrition. When dogs are trying to stay warm, they burn more calories, and they need that extra nutrition,” said Adams.
Adams said that outdoor cats and other animals require the same added protection as well.
“We always take the human education to things first if we see that people are trying. We want to make the effort to mold people into being the best responsible pet owner possible. It’s definitely dangerous to have them out in these elements. You do what you can to keep them warm,” said Adams.
Contact Ashley by telephone at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton and sending a message.