Freezing weather threatens pets, strays

Freezing weather threatens pets, strays

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - This extreme cold is causing problems for people, and can be a real threat to our four-legged friends.

Bailey Walters with the Lubbock Animal Shelter says freezing isn’t the only risk.

“Hypothermia is really common, especially with dogs with their paws. They start cracking and bleeding and that’s really unsafe for them. Also, with all the salt and antifreeze on the ground, if dogs start licking their paws or even cats, that’s poisonous to them,” Walters said.

Walters says the Lubbock Animal Shelter is filling up, and is asking for volunteers to foster animals during this weather.

“We get a surplus of calls with this kind of weather, so unfortunately, we just don’t have the resources to get every single dog out on the street. So, we really appreciate it when people can pick up those animals and just hold onto them until we can get them with an appointment,” Walters explained.

All drop-offs at the shelter are appointment only.

She says most animals move from foster homes into the shelter within three days.

Walters says if you see a pet tethered out in the cold, you can ask the homeowner to bring them inside or call the shelter’s field officers.

“If it’s below freezing or if there’s snow on the ground, it is illegal to have animals chained up outside. It’s just a little bit inhumane. We can issue citations for that kind of treatment,” Walters said.

She recommends only taking your pets outside for bathroom breaks.

Walters says if dogs escape, they don’t have the best instincts to find warmth.

“So, definitely keep them leashed, wipe off their paws after they come inside, and have a nice, warm place for them inside, as well,” Walters said.

She says cats do have those instincts to find a warm hiding spot.

“Cats, they like to hide in cars and same with other small animals. So, we always recommend to just kind of bang on your car hood just to see if anyone’s crawled up in there, that way they don’t get hurt,” Walters said.

If you must keep an animal outside, LAS recommends avoiding the use of heaters to keep them warm, as they can be dangerous.

Walters says blankets can get wet and worsen the situation, so she recommends using hay instead.

Heat lamps can be used, as long as they’re not too hot or too close to the animal.

You can call 806-775-2057 to make a drop-off appointment or call 806 -775-3357 for the field office.

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