How to take care of your pets during extreme cold weather
EDMONTON -- The Animal Care & Control Centre is reminding Edmontonians to keep their pets inside as a deep freeze begins to settle in for the foreseeable future.
So far this month, the City of Edmonton has received more than 15 reports about pets being left out in the cold, with the majority coming in the last two days.
Callers are urged to describe distress signs so officers can confirm whether the animal needs help and prioritize where they go during this busy time.
Peace officer Brianne Grey says distress signs include pets lifting their feet, licking their feet, shivering and shaking. Dr. Disa Boyd adds pets can also get frostbite—especially on their ears, tails, paws and noses—and hypothermia.
"I went to one a couple of days ago where the dog was curled up on a concrete pad at the front door just shivering and shaking, trying to wrap its tail around its nose," Grey told CTV News Edmonton.
"I have been doing this awhile and seeing the complaints come in year after year, it gets frustrating because we just want to make sure that all of the animals are safe," Grey added.
Boyd recommends owners to keep their pets inside, unless when they need to go to the bathroom, "but keep it really short," she said. "Bring them back in right away."
She says dogs should wear boots and jackets—advise Kathryn Morgan-Jackson says she follows.
Morgan-Jackson walks her dog, Scout, twice a day, even in extreme cold weather, but she wears boots, even though she doesn’t like to.
"If she is in obvious discomfort, then yes, we definitely shorten them or we try to do a little bit more play in the backyard in short spurts."
Animal Care & Control seizes animals in distress. A veterinarian then examines them, and depending on the situation, the owner may be able to reclaim them.
But if the case is deemed to be neglect, the owner could face charges under the Animal Protection Act of Alberta, which could result in a fine of up to $20,000 and a ban from owning pets.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson