Animals prefer their food and water just like humans: fresh not frozen.
As cold weather and snow sweep through Middle Tennessee this week, Montgomery County Animal Care and Control Director Dave Kaske is reminding pet owners not to leave their animals outside for an extended period.
Animal welfare concerns are on the rise as residents get their first taste of winter.
Montgomery County saw its first snow of 2022 overnight Sunday into Monday and more snow was falling as of press time for this edition Thursday. The county is expected to see up to four inches of snow by the time the weather clears, and temperatures were expected to plunge as low as 10 degrees overnight, according to National Weather Service.
Montgomery County Animal Care and Control typically sees three or four calls for animal welfare checks each week, Kaske said.
In the first four days of this week, the shelter has received 22 calls,.
“That’s concerning to us, that people aren’t planning ahead with making sure they are bringing their pets in at night if its cold or having the proper shelter and installation,” Kaske said.
An attempt to educate pet owners is the first step, he said.
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“A lot of people don’t understand or know that if the dogs are outside for any period of time, they have to have proper shelter … and have available water,” Kaske said.
Proper shelter for animals
Pets too, can get frostbite.
That’s why proper shelter is so important.
The best shelter is one that the animal can sleep in comfortably, with four sides, an opening in the front, plenty of insulation inside and a pitched roof, according to Kaske.
Roofing is important because without the pitch, water and snow can’t run off and that can lead to leaks and other assorted problems.
Kaske also recommends replacing dog blankets or beds with straw. Fabrics can become wet and freeze if the temperature dips below freezing.
“Anything to put a barrier between the outside weather and the pet,” Kaske said. “Try to be a responsible pet owner.”
If residents can not shelter animals inside, they should remember to check on them often and to replace water and food.
Citations can and will be handed out if owners are not abiding by the law, Kaske said.
Alexis Clark can be reached at [email protected] or 931-217-8519.