LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock Animal Shelter and Adoption Center wants to remind pet owners to make sure their animals stay safe and warm during freezing temperatures.
Jackie Stephens, adoptions officer for the center, said if it's too cold for a person to be outside, animals also need to be indoors.
Every winter, Stephens said her heart breaks for animals that die in the freezing weather.
"It's cruel," she said. "They're just curled up into this little ball and shivering because they're so cold."
Stephens says two or three dogs die a week sometimes during the winter months and the Lubbock Animal Shelter can only save a few of them.
"We got a few in here that we put blankets down and we couldn't do very much more," she said. "We had to get their body heat back up. It takes them at least 72 hours to actually get their body temperatures back up."
That is why Stephen asks for owners to keep pets indoors or in a warm doghouse when it is cold outside.
"For a Great Pyrenees, a St. Bernard, a Husky: they're going to love this weather," she said. "They're going to love this weather, they have that extra fur coat, but when it does get below freezing, even those dogs can freeze."
If animals are not indoors during freezing weather, Stephens said the Lubbock Animal Services will issue citations.
"If it's an extreme circumstance and an officer feels that the dog is in danger L.A.S. will get a seizure and we'll seize the dog, and you won't have a pet," she said.
And this does not just go for dogs. Cats need to be kept indoors as well, or they will hunt for warmth in dangerous places.
"Every year, we are called out in cold weather because a cat has gotten up into a motor and somebody turned it on," she said, "so we've got a trapped cat injured on top of everything else."
To make sure a cat is not taking cover from the cold in a car, Stephens said to knock on the hood or honk the horn before turning the motor on.
"Cold weather is here," she said. "Don't wait until it's icy, or the wind is blowing or there's snow on the ground, especially for those who you know have to keep their dogs tethered up outside just bring them in. It's simple."
To report someone's animal that is outdoors Stephens said to call 775-2700.