Pets in the Cold

By: Philip Townsend Email
By: Philip Townsend Email

While many people are bundling up as cold weather hits the Valley, the SPCA and Animal Control don't want people to forget about their pets.

The Director of the Augusta Regional SPCA, Debbie Caywood, says as winter approaches many people unknowingly neglect their pets.

She says, "People do think their pets can withstand the cold but unfortunately, they need to be considered too as far as making sure they have warm conditions."

She says the result can be worse than you think.

Caywood adds, "Pets can die with too much exposure to the cold."

Staunton Animal Control Officer Shane Ayers says he is already seeing pets left in the cold.

He comments, "There is quite a few of them here in the city. A lot of people, unfortunately, have their animals outside."

Ayers also says he's hearing more and more complaints.

He says, "We get a higher volume of animal welfare complaints. People are concerned about frozen water, inadequate shelter, bedding for the animals. They are concerned animals will get cold."

Caywood says the SPCA is continuing its efforts to inform the public of the problem through fliers and educational presentations.

She says, "There has been a lot of effort made to educate the community, so we are seeing less cases."

Ayers helps out with Straw for Paws, a service that gives pet owners bedding for their animals during the winter. He says getting the word out about keeping pets warm is an ongoing effort.

He adds, "We do a lot of owner education. Just trying to educate the pet owners, that's the key to the process here."

The SPCA also says to keep your pets away from anti-freeze. They can be attracted to the sweet taste, but even a little of the chemical can be deadly.


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