Information about cold weather ahead are for outdoor pets too


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

A wind-chill advisory will be in effect until noon Wednesday in Mahoning County, where the wind-chill temperature will reach 20 below and a real temperature as low as 3 below today.

Those cold conditions are reason enough for the Dianne Fry, Mahoning County dog warden, and Jason Cooke, a Boardman animal activist, to recommend that everyone with an outside dog bring the animal inside.

The high today will be 13, and the low temperature will be 2 above zero tonight. The wind-chill will be as low as 11 degrees below zero early Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The same wind-chill advisory is in effect through Wednesday in Trumbull County with the wind-chill reaching 17 below today and 12 below Wednesday. The real temperature will reach a high of 14 degrees today and 20 degrees Wednesday.

Those cold conditions are reason enough for the Dianne Fry, Mahoning County dog warden, and Jason Cooke, a Boardman animal activist, to recommend that everyone with an outside dog bring the animal inside.

Fry said her agents rescued four dogs from Youngstown last week, mostly because the animal was outside in the cold without a license.

“Really it’s just common sense,” Fry said. “Some breeds are more acclimated to the cold. But when it’s this cold, no dog really should be outside.”

For instance, pit bull terriers are a popular breed, but they are muscular dogs with very little fat or hair to keep them warm.

People have used electric heaters, heated mats, a wind-break over he dog house entrance and heated water dishes to help their dogs in cold weather.

Fry said she authorized overtime for an agent to check on a mother pit bull with puppies on Monday, but she said she didn’t know whether the animals were seized.

Fry said 80 percent to 90 percent of the dogs that her office seizes are in Youngstown, and most of them have no license.

Cooke said he wishes people would just consider the amount of suffering a dog experiences when it is chained to a doghouse in the type of weather we are getting.

“The issue we have is dogs that never come off of the chain,” Cooke said. “That’s a horrible existence. I guarantee a lot of dogs will get frostbite in the next week and some will die.”

Cooke said there are nine Mahoning Valley communities with tethering laws, meaning dogs are not allowed to be outside on a tether under certain circumstances, such as during weather advisories or warnings. They are Poland, Warren, Girard, Struthers, Campbell, Boardman, Howland and Poland Township.

Cooke said people sometimes say the reason the dog is outside is because it defecates in the house or chews furniture.

But those behaviors are correctible with the use of crates and dog trainers. “Dogs are extremely ingelligent,” Cooke said.

In many cases, people who abuse animals by leaving them chained to a dog house have been raised to behave this way toward animals and are grateful when they finally learn about issues such as heartworm and vaccines.

Such people often don’t realize that there are people who will sometimes pay the cost to have another person’s dog spayed or neutered.

Cooke’s Facebook page is www.facebook.com/AnimalAdvocateForOhio.

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