Protect your pets as temperatures drop this winter season

Freezing weather leaves outdoor animals at risk
Dog in snow

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Temperatures will hover around freezing in many parts of our area this week, and the Ellensburg Police Department is reminding everyone to make sure pets are protected from the elements!

The police department says when temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to bring dogs and cats indoors, or make sure they have access to a well-insulated place to hunker down.  It’s also important to make sure all domestic animals have access to water.  That may require breaking the ice several times per day, or even investing in a heated water container.

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If you’re planning to take a walk, you might want to get your dog a coat to protect them from the wind.  As long as there’s snow and ice on the ground, you should wash off your dog’s paws when you get home so they don’t accidentally lick off any salt or de-icing chemicals.

It is illegal in Washington state to leave a dog tied up outdoors without proper shelter.  If you leave animals alone without food and water for 36 hours or more, state law allows anyone to come in and help them out.  If a bystander can’t get to the animal in need, law enforcement is allowed to take the animals into protective custody.

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The Humane Society of the United States says if you’re worried that a pet is being neglected, the first step is to take note of what you see, and take pictures or video if you can.  Then call law enforcement to report your concerns.