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UPDATE: Bring all pets indoors, insulate outdoor shelters, fill with hay



Published: Thu, January 2, 2014 @ 10:27 p.m.

SEEL ALSO: Humane agents powerless to help animals in extreme cold

Animal Charity Human Society is urging pet and animal owners to bring all their animals indoors, even if they are primarily outside pets.

Animals are at risk in the region's current frigid weather and will continue to be over the coming days.

The agency is distributing free hay to keep dogs warm in outdoor shelters. Workers will also be doing wellness checks to ensure the safety of pets that are stuck outside.

Owners are reminded that all animals must have shelter as well as food and (unfrozen) water available at all times. Animals found without any of those can subject the owners to prosecution.

Although animal coats appears warm, it’s not enough to protect them when the temperatures dip to the frigid lows forecast over the next few days.

“If it’s cold for you, it’s cold for them,” said Diane Less, co-founder of Angels for Animals, an animal shelter and adoption center in Beaver Township.

Bringing pets indoors during cold weather provides the best protection.

If that isn’t an option, an insulated shelter with hay or straw for bedding can help shield pets from the cold.

A dog house with just plastic covering the door will keep the wind and snow off of the animal, but it won’t guard against the cold.

To provide that insulation, Less says furniture pads wrapped around the dog house and then wrapped with a tarp can offer that extra layer of warmth.

The shelter for the pet should be small to enable the animal to retain its body heat inside, she said.

“What’s great for cats is those disposable Styrofoam coolers like Omaha Steaks come in,” Less said.

Hay or straw should be used for bedding, not a blanket.

“If it gets wet, water goes through the hay or straw,” she said. “A blanket freezes and just becomes a block of ice.”

A dog or cat can also burrow into straw for warmth, Less said.


Comments

1sillylilly(6 comments)posted 7 months, 4 weeks ago

You might want to clarify, pets CAN be kept outdoors. There is nothing in Ohio law saying they must be brought inside. Ohio animal cruelty laws are not great. They simply say that as long as an outdoor pet is provided good wholesome food/water, and shelter the owners are abiding by the law. And shelter for certain animals, such as a horse, can actually, legally, just be a tree. Dogs are not even required by law to be provided hay. Humane Agents can strongly recommend that, and that's why they drive around with it, but it is not required. They only give out hay to help make dogs a little more comfortable who's life is on a chain. So it might be helpful and prudent to clarify: outdoor pets CAN stay outside during this weather, provided they are given proper and adequate food/water/shelter. Hay is not required, just recommended. Water does freeze quickly with these temperatures, and therefore should be changed at least twice in 24 hours (morning and night).

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2mardar(3 comments)posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Pretty sure HAY is not recommended. STRAW is what is needed. And regardless of what is the law or not....if we get sub-zero (and especialy the windchills of possibly -35) YOUR OUTSIDE ANIMALS WILL NOT SURVIVE. PERIOD.

*** DO NOT BLOW THIS WARNING OFF. YOUR ANIMALS WILL DIE.

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3Ytown4Life(6 comments)posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Youre nothing better than an abuser if you leave your pet out in this kind of weather. I don't care if it's against the piss poor Ohio humane laws or not, it's bad enough you got a dog just to leave it alone outside but to do it in this weather is rolling the dice with it's very life. Even if it doesn't die it will still suffer. If you're okay with that, you don't deserve a pet.

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4pgurney(274 comments)posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

sillylilly - who the HELL cares what the law says?!?!?! These are near zero and sub-zero temps we're about to get. Anyone with an ounce of brains conscience WILL bring their pets inside. If they do not, they're no different than these sick animal abusers.

Ytown4Life, I agree with every word you said.

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5Ytownnative(1025 comments)posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Quite simple stand outside with your dog. When you get cold they are probably getting cold. Then you both come inside. Or in my case all four of us come inside.

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