Cold weather raises concerns for animal safety in Iowa, elsewhere

By on January 24, 2014

From the Des Moines Register- During one of the latest cold snaps across the middle of Iowa (and the rest of the country, in fact) an increased number of complaints were called into local humane organizations and the Des Moines Register’s Watchdog reporters. Many of the instances were because of horses left out in the cold with little to no shelter.

This article from the Register cites a number of experts as they speak on safety of animals during cold spells. Most of the cases reported to the Watchdog reporters at the newspaper were deemed safe or adequate. Other cases were unfounded or resolved before authorities could intervene.

This raises a few questions about YOUR job when it comes to keeping animals safe in the cold. We at Pets In Omaha have recommended that animals be sheltered and brought in from the cold whenever possible. We’ve also advised readers to call the authorities when mistreatment is suspected. We stand behind those words, but want to display what the Humane Society of the United States says about these things. Their words are below and come from the previously mentioned Des Moines Register article.

What the Humane Society of the U.S. says

The Humane Society of the United States encourages people to contact local law enforcement agencies when pets are left outside in extreme temperatures without food and shelter. Note the date, time, exact location and the type of animal involved and write down as many details as possible about the situation. Video and photos of the animal, the location and the surrounding area will help bolster your case, the Humane Society says. All but nine states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico and North Carolina) specifically require pet owners to provide adequate shelter for a pet outside. The definition for adequate shelter generally includes some variation of “protection from the elements or extreme weather.”

Winter is far from over, so keep all of these things in mind. Be a good pet owner and supply shelter from the cold. Be a good citizen and report mistreatment and owners who neglect their animal’s safety. Most of all, be safe and keep animals safe as well.


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