Dying in the Cold

By: Laurabree Austin Email
By: Laurabree Austin Email

It’s plenty cold outside. But even so, with all the warnings people hear, they continue to leave their pets outside without adequate shelter…and that keeps animal control workers very busy.

The faces of dogs and cats at an animal shelter can break your heart. But as strange as it sounds, in some ways shelter animals are the lucky ones because here they have a chance of finding a good home. The animals that are left out in the cold -- it's unlikely they'll survive.

Kanawha County humane officer Johnny Brotherton says, “Domesticated animals just aren't equipped for the outside weather.”

Brotherton says some dogs can handle the dipping temperatures if they have what they need. Dogs need to be well fed and have doghouses in order to stay outdoors. Straw and cedar chips make the best doghouse bedding, because clothing or blankets can draw moisture. He also says it's better to have a doghouse that a dog can just fit in, because the bigger the house, the more heat you lose.

Humane officers want to remind people -- if they don't want their pets, they can leave them at the animal shelter rather than just dropping them somewhere outside.

And if you think this kind of thing doesn’t happen all the time….the day this story ran, we received an email from a family in Huntington. They found 7 puppies out in the cold and rescued them. One puppy died, but the rest were taken to the shelter.

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