How to report pets left out in the cold

audabon in snow

With today’s record low temperatures, many folks are expressing concern about pets forced to stay outside in the cold.

There is some help. The city says you can contact 311 to report a pet stuck out in the cold  from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday – Friday. Outside of those hours, call the police department non-emergency number, 234-5111

The City’s Animal Control staff will impound pets found outside and issue citations to their owners.

According to the Human Society of Missouri, here are a few tips to protect your pet during these extreme temperatures.

  • Keep your pet inside. Pets can develop frostbite on their ears, tail and paws quickly. Take precautions to limit their time spent outdoors as much as possible to keep them safe. In addition, be sure to keep portable heaters out of reach from your pets indoors, as these devices can burn them.
  • Provide adequate shelter.  Adequate shelter is required by law. Dogs that live outdoors must reside in a well-insulated and draft-free doghouse. The opening should face south with a sturdy covering that prevents ice and wind from entering. The shelter’s floors should be lined with straw (not hay). Cats should be kept inside a home at all times.
  • Be aware of antifreeze and rock salt: Pets might be attracted to the sweetness of antifreeze and rock salt, but it is lethally poisonous. Watch your pet and make sure it avoids contact with these products. If you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze or rock salt, contact your vet immediately. These products can also irritate your pet’s footpads; be sure to clean your pet’s paws after being outside.
  • Dry off wet pets: Towel or blow-dry pets that get wet from rain or snow.
  • Provide adequate food and water: In cold temperatures, pets require extra energy to regulate their body temperature. This means that may need extra food/calories, especially if they’ve spent time outside. Be sure to provide fresh water – snow is not a substitute for water.




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