Concerns for Animals During Winter Months

Concerns for Animals During Winter Months

ABILENE, Texas The cold weather has the Animal Services Division looking towards the winter months and holiday time ahead. As we approach the cold, holiday season Animal Services would like to remind residents about health hazards and concerns for animals during the winter. As winter and holiday time approach cases of animal cruelty increase in Abilene. One example of animal cruelty in our community is abandoned animals. Currently, City of Abilene Animal Services is working with the staff at Brookhollow Animal Clinic to save an extremely emaciated dog found over the weekend in the Abilene State Park area. A caring humanitarian found the dog and brought her to Animal Services. The dog is doing better but has a long road to recovery. Animal Services will be utilizing the Community Foundation of Abilene grant: Pat Meleen Vaughn, Humane Treatment of Animals to help offset the costs of treatment. The dog¡¦s name will be Park. Once Park is healthy enough, Animal Services will search for a loving family willing to adopt her. Animal Services wants to use this case as an example. Some have the belief that tossing a dog or cat out of a car in the country gives that animal a chance. The truth is the animal suffers and the end result is usually a slow, painful death. In Texas this is a criminal act and Animal Services needs the public to help stop these criminal acts. Animal Services urges citizens to do the right thing; contact your local Humane Society, rescue group, or your local municipal shelter to shelter the animal and look for a new adopter. Residents should spay and neuter pets to combat overpopulation and practice basic training techniques with pets to prevent unwanted behaviors. Residents can help by providing information if they notice someone releasing an animal; always get a license plate. If animal release is a common problem in a specific area, residents can set up a wildlife camera to catch the animal dumper on film and talk to their neighbors about animal issues. Despite fur coats, domesticated animals depend on humans for protection from elements such as freezing temperatures. Animal Services is offering the following suggestions to help keep all pets safe through the cold winter months.„X Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops below freezing. „X Wind-chill can threaten a pet’s life, no matter what the temperature. Outdoor dogs must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse.„X Pets spending a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter. „X It is important to have fresh, unfrozen water available for pets, especially in cold weather. „X Warm car engines are dangerous for cats and small wildlife. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.„X De-icing chemicals are hazardous. The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe the feet with a damp towel every time after coming in from outdoors.Animal Services would also like to remind Abilene residents that tethering an animal in temperatures below freezing is illegal. For more information on health hazards and concerns for animals this winter contact Animal Services at 325-698-0085.