Pets May Be Overlooked During The Harsh Winter Weather

Officials at the Bloomington Animal Shelter say they’re receiving a lot of calls from residents concerned about pets left outside in the cold.

Dog staying warm in the Bloomington Animal Shelter.

Photo: Bill Shaw

Adoptable dog in the Bloomington Animal Shelter.

The dogs, cats and bunnies at the Bloomington Animal Shelter are warm and safe despite the nearly half a foot of snow that blanketed the community last night.

Director Laurie Ringquist says it’s too cold for pets to be outside.

“What we do see, are more calls from citizens who are concerned about animals that they see outside in this weather. So we do get more calls to go out and check on animals,” she says.

The animal shelter is getting about five times as many calls now as it does during warm weather months. They follow up on each call with a visit to check on the animals and discuss proper care with the owners.

Dogs, like humans, are susceptible to hypothermia.

“Shaking, lethargic, in severe cases unable to walk, dizziness, coma,” Blue Sky Veterinary Clinic technician Darinda Broglin-Bartlett says. “If you suspect hypothermia, the best thing to do is to take a towel, warm them up with a towel. You can even use a heating pad or a heating blanket.”

Broglin-Bartlett says different breeds are more susceptible to winter weather dangers. Dogs with short legs, like her corgi Talula who stays with her at work, do not do well in snow, and dogs with short hair such as Dobermans and Dachshunds cannot be in cold temperatures for extended periods of time.

Sarah Hetrick contributed to this report.

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