Animals left outside in bitter cold


by Tiffany Tarpley

MILWAUKEE—Animal control officers have been busy responding to calls about pets being left out in the bitter cold.

Monday was a holiday but officers were on call to respond to emergencies. “[We] had about 12-15 calls, being on call generally it’s about 4 or 5.” explained Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Officer Paul Schmidt. “The far majority, about 75 percent of those, were the public being worried about an animal outside.”

Dogs can get the same cold injuries as humans according to Field Officer Supervisor, John McDowell. “Typical frostbite areas would be paws, tips of the ears, occasionally the nose and tip of the tail,” he said. “If you see a dog shivering that’s time to take it in [and] at the very least, if you see them start to pick up their paws off the ground that’s another sign.”

McDowell explained if you put your dog outside and minutes later they’re curled up, that is also a sign of discomfort.

Legally there are also regulations pet owners must follow when their animals are outside. For example, McDowell said in Milwaukee dogs that are out more than an hour need to be in a windproof, waterproof dog house and if it’s below 40 degrees they need to have clean, dry bedding material.


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