Keep pets out of frigid cold weather - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Humane society urges pet safety in winter blast

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  It's another night with those cold temperatures on the outside. The bitter cool down has lasted a week already.

That's probably enough time for many people to figure out the best ways to stay warm in the cold. Animal experts say don't get caught up in "self" mode. Remember the four-legged friends who can't always run inside to escape the cold.

They're taking the cold pretty well. Every single kennel outside is empty. Pooches, kitties, and rabbits are all inside staying warm.

"It's 18 degrees. How long can you stay out there?" said Albany Humane Society Board President Jay Robertson. "Your animals can't do it either. Take care of them and bring them inside."

Robertson says shelter employees bring animals inside when temperatures dip below freezing. They're even housing nearly 20 dogs from the Lee County shelter until construction wraps up at their site.

"We are not used to this cold weather neither are your animals," Robertson said. "Extra precautions need to be taken to protect your animals."

That means not only bring in dogs, but bring in cats too. Unlike those further north, cats like Fluffy can't grow a coat quite as thick in the south.

"They can't grow that extra fun in a short amount of time it's cold in Southwest Georgia,"Robertson said.

In the meantime, the shelter plans to cut carpet and install it on the concrete floors outside for the dogs. Dozens of blankets fill the shelter which they'll also put to use.

"It has been a tremendous help and we appreciate what the community has done to help us through these hard times," Robertson said.

Cats like Fluffy and dogs like Shiloh can benefit from warmth inside the shelter until they can enjoy a cozy new home.

Robertson says it's also a good idea to feed pets a little more during the winter to give them some extra energy to stay warm. If people have a horse, try to keep it covered up with a blanket and shelter.

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