If it's too cold for you, then it's probably too cold for your pets to be left outside.

Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer.

Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods of time in below-freezing weather.

Here are some great rules from Pet MD

Bare Naked Truth
If you must keep your pet outdoors, consider this: Would a fur coat alone (even if it is faux mink) keep you warm against the elements? No? Well, your pet’s fur coat isn’t enough protection for your pet during winter, either. Be a pal and provide your dog with a warm, dry, and draft-free shelter outside; the shelter should also comply with any state laws that apply.

No More Frozen Dinners
Because it takes more energy to stay warm when it's cold, outdoor animals eat more during the winter. Likewise, fresh, running water is vital for maintaining your pet's health. Keep an eye on the water bowls.

Wintering with your pet is mostly common sense. If you’re cold, your beloved pet will most likely be cold too. So snuggle up, keep your pet warm and safe.

What To Do If You See A Pet Left Out In The Cold:

  • Report what you see: Take note of the date, time, exact location and the type of animal(s) involved and write down as many details as possible about the situation. Video and photographic documentation of the animal, the location, the surrounding area, etc. (even a cell phone photo) will help bolster your case.
  • Contact your local animal control agency or county sheriff's office and present your complaint and evidence. Take detailed notes regarding whom you speak with and when. Respectfully follow up in a few days if the situation has not been remedied.
  • Animal Control Division
    Utica Police Department
    413 Oriskany Street - West
    Utica, New York 13502(315) 735-3301
  • If you need advice, call The HSUS. The Humane Society of the United States is not a law-enforcement agency but can provide expert counsel.

[Information from humainesociety.org]

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