It’s not just people trying to stay warm in these frigid temperatures. When it gets this cold, it can be deadly for animals.
Lexington-Fayette County Animal Control got about 40 calls Monday just on pets being left outside today. That’s about triple the number of calls they usually get.
“In this weather they can get wet due to the snow and the wind pounding them all night is not very good, is not healthy for them at all,” said Jason Paulson, public information officer for Lexington-Fayette County Animal Control.
According to ordinances dogs are allowed to stay outside if they have a proper dog house: four walls, a roof, floor, entrance and organic bedding inside like straw or woodchips.
The ordinance says dogs must have water available that needs to be checked regularly to make sure it doesn’t freeze. Lexington-Fayette County also mandates the way dogs are tied up.
If a dog is outside without meeting these requirements, owners could face up to a $500 fine and/or up to a year in jail.
“We try to give people changes but, especially with these extreme conditions, we have to do what's best for the animal at this time,” said Paulson.
Animal Control says it’s best to bring pets inside if possible.
“Do whatever you can to make sure your animal is provided with the best protection from the elements,” said Paulson.
Paulson reminds everyone to bang on the hood of the car in the morning before heading to work because stray cats and other animals sometimes like to curl up near the engine to try and keep warm.