Protecting outdoor pets from the cold - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Protecting outdoor pets from the cold

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

January 16, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Low temperatures Friday night could drop into the teens.

It hasn't been that cold in Albany in six years.

If you own a dog or cat that's outside, you need to make sure they're as warm as possible too.

Animal control officers are trying to make sure you're following the rules.

Ken Davis is setting an example of what to do for your outdoor pet when temperatures dip below the freezing mark.

"We got a heat lamp and everything, a bed, and she stays up on the back porch," said Davis.

His Labrador Retriever Annabel has it made.

"She won't stay in that dog house," said Davis.

A heat lamp, blanket, and a plastic cover to keep out the wind and keep his dog warm on the porch.

"Normally we'll get more calls when the weather temperature drops," Sherman Capers, Albany Animal Control Supervisor.

Albany Animal Control officers have been busy with calls about people breaking the rules.

But they say if you have proper shelter and water you're safe.

"What I would do is put a blanket in there or some straw or hay and make them a bit warmer," said Capers.

But if they do get a legitimate complaint they'll do their job.

"If they don't have a dog house in temperatures like this then the dog should be picked up." said Capers.

Davis doesn't have that problem; Annabel pretty much has all the comfort she needs.

And as for owners who think their dog's plush coat is good enough protection Davis says he's taking no chances.

"They might do it but I'd rather keep mine where I know she's warm," said Davis.

If you see a violation Animal Control wants you to contact your neighbor first to have them comply before calling them.

If your dog gets picked up by animal control, it'll cost you about $100 to get it back, not including what the humane society charges for housing the animal.

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