Follow these tips to keep your pets warm at night this season


GREENVILLE, Pitt County - Most people will have a warm place to stay during the cold weather this season, but it's important to make sure your pets do too, especially those kept outside.

Animal Control officers regularly patrol local neighborhoods when temperatures get low, but there's only so many of them, which is why they rely on residents to call if they think an animal is in danger.

"I like to tell people that if it's too cold for you it's probably too cold for them," Animal Control officer Beth Swartz said. "So if you think it's really cold outside, then common sense, bring them inside."

Keeping animals inside is not always an option for everyone in the local area. Swartz said if you must leave your pet outside, the first step in keeping them safe is making sure they have shelter.

Rather than a fence or dog run, the shelter should be enclosed with some sort of insulation.

"Basically, we ask people to some kind of bedding in there, whether it's cedar chips, straw, hay," Swartz said.

It's also important to make sure pets have access to a water supply deep enough to not freeze over.

"A lot of times people aren't thinking about that," Swartz said. "They're like oh I've given the dog water, but if it's frozen over they can't drink it."

Swartz said that officers regularly patrol neighborhoods looking for dogs in unsafe conditions. If you see a dog without access to shelter or water, you're urged to contact them.

"There's only a few of us as far as APS officers go, so we really rely on the public to kind of help us out with that," Swartz said.

Swartz said never hesitate to call your local animal control department if you suspect an animal is unsafe. You can also call non-emergency police, but never 911.

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