Caring for outdoor animals during the deep freeze

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- The frigid temperatures aren't just dangerous for us humans, but also for pets and animals.

13 News Reporter, Kelly Dean spoke with several animal specialists to find out how to properly care for our furry friends during these days in the deep freeze.

"Cold exposure can affect our pets in very similar ways that it affects us," said Dr. Hannah Thomas with Snodgrass Veterinary Medical Center.

Animals are bracing the single digit temperatures, but with far less control.

"The temperatures we're experiencing right now are so extreme that we're getting probably 20-25 contacts daily asking what they need to do," said Lorri Hare, Executive Director with the Bowling Green/Warren County Humane Society.

Both Snodgrass Veterinary and the Humane Society suggest shelter, first and foremost.

"The biggest thing is to give them adequate shelter to get out of the cold," said Dr. Thomas.

At the Humane Society, all of the outdoor kennels are empty because they bring all of their animals inside during these frigid temperatures.

If animals have to be left outside, they also suggest providing extra bedding like straw.

"A good absorbent dry bedding that's gonna help them maintain their body heat," said Dr. Thomas.

And finally, be sure to provide fresh water, and to check it four to five times a day.

"Ideally if you can give them water that's room temperature, even better to help entice them to drink more. They are more susceptible to dehydration in the colder weather," said Dr. Thomas.

However, animals are still being neglected right here in our community.

"We've had a tremendous amount of people the last several days bringing us animals that they have found, and that's what we want them to do," said Hare.

Folks are also trying to report animal cruelty incidences to the Humane Society, which is not the proper place to call.

"There's nothing we can do. So, we're advising people pick up the phone, call city animal control, county animal control, they will go do a welfare check," explained Hare.

Before it's too late, remember to prepare and provide the necessary resources because there's not much immediate relief in sight, according to the weekly forecast. Not to mention that winter has just arrived.

"We've already heard really really bad stories about animals passing away," said Hare.

The Humane Society says, they have free resources that have been donated if needed; however, they are running low on straw. If you have any extra straw or other items, please bring it to the Bowling Green/Warren County Humane Society on Louisville Road.

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