From the Home Office:
City of St. Louis Animal Care and Control (ACC) urges citizens to consider the safety of pets during cold weather. St. Louis is expecting severe cold weather beginning today and running through most of next week.
"Many people think that pets are comfortable in cold weather, thinking that their fur offers protection against the cold," said Dr. Frei, ACC Veterinarian. "However, below freezing temperatures can be very dangerous for any pet, regardless of how thick their fur is. It is best to keep pets indoors, and if they do need to be outside, they should have adequate shelter that protects them from exposure to winter weather."
Through the "Free Straw for Warm Paws" program, Operation SPOT has made free straw available for pick up at the ACC shelter between 8am-5pm seven days a week, located at 2801 Clark Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103. This straw can be used as bedding for dog houses and other companion animal shelters. Dog houses may be available upon request.
ACC would also like to highlight the Stray Rescue "All Stars" program. If there is a dog or pet out in the cold during this winter, Stray Rescue can be contacted at 314-771-6121 to save them.
For citizens who are familiar with Trap, Neuter, and Return (TNR) methods for feral or neighborhood cats, ACC encourages those citizens to utilize resources for caring for these cats during cold weather. Instructions for building shelters for neighborhood cats can be found at www.alleycat.org.
ACC encourages all citizens to consider the following cold weather pet safety tips:
Cold Weather Pet Safety Tips
• Do not leave your pets outdoors unattended when the temperature gets below freezing (32º F). Frostbite is a threat to animals exposed to harsh, cold weather.• Never leave a pet alone in a car during cold weather. Cars hold in the cold like a refrigerator and your pet can freeze to death.•Keep pets away from antifreeze and promptly clean up any spills from your car. Antifreeze is a lethal poison for pets, even in tiny doses. Unfortunately, animals are attracted to its sweet taste.• Keep your cat inside. Cats can crawl into a warm car engine for shelter and can be seriously injured or killed when the car is started. Check under the hood before starting your car in the winter to chase away any hidden cats or other wildlife.• Wipe off your pet's paws, legs, and stomach after being out in the snow or ice. Any salt or other de-icing chemicals that are swallowed by licking can make your pet sick. • If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness, or breed type (small, or short haired), take them outdoors only long enough to relieve themselves. Puppies do not tolerate cold as well as adult dogs. • Never let your dog off-leash in snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs often lose their scent in snow and ice and can easily become lost. If an animal appears to be in distress or is unresponsive, please contact ACC immediately at 314-657-1500. If calling after hours, please call 911.