Animal well-being checks increase in Pittsburg - KOAM TV 7

Animal well-being checks increase in Pittsburg


During this time of cold temperatures, many people use their gloves, jackets, scarves, and hats to keep warm.  But keeping pets that are outside warm can sometimes be forgotten.  Animal control officers in Pittsburg say they've been getting more calls from concerned residents.

You've probably heard the saying, the dog days of Summer.  

Here's something obvious for you:  It's Winter.

"A Husky, for example, is better bred for this type of weather.  Whereas, say, a small, hairless Chihuahua definitely should be brought into the garage," says Pittsburg animal control officer Jason Denney.

"Couple years ago, we found a black Lab near Liberal.  It was running around, and it was pretty cold out," says Pittsburg resident Mike Plummer.

Temperatures are frigid, and people like Plummer are rigid on what they need to see to make sure outside animals are safe.

"Plenty of water. Plenty of food," says Plummer.

"Usually, we get about a 20% increase in what we call a check welfare.  Mostly dogs," says Denney.

Denney is one of two animal control officers in Pittsburg.  When he's called out, one of the things he checks for is proper shelter for animals.  Denney says it's a good idea to insulate the shelter.

"Some people like to use straw, or cedar bedding.  I will say that the Southeast Kansas Humane Society is giving away straw to people that wish to use it to keep their pets warm," says Denney.

Plenty of available, usable water for animals is also extra important during the cold.

"Dogs actually will drink more water than they do in the Summer time, because their body is working to generate heat," says Denney.

Denney will also look for signs of malnourishment.  But here's some good news:  Only a small percentage of the check welfare of animal calls in Pittsburg turn out to be animal neglect.

"Maybe one percent," says Denney.

But when in doubt, still call for help.

"We can't fix a problem if we don't know it's there," says Denney.

When there is a problem, there could be a penalty that's appreciated by many, including Mike Plummer.

"If it's cold like this, yes I do," says Plummer.

People found mistreating their pets could be cited for animal cruelty.  It's a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail.  

Watch the associated video to hear about caring for dog's and cat's paws during the cold.


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