PIMA COUNTY, Arizona – Due to the possibility of freezing temperatures overnight, the Pima Animal Care Center Animal Support Services (APS) is making temperature-related calls a higher priority. Pet owners are also encouraged to bring pets inside or provide adequate shelter.
“It’s easy to think that dogs are immune to cold because of their fur,” said Monica Dangler, Interim Director of Animal Services. “Some are better able to handle the cold than others, but a taking a few simple precautions can ensure an enjoyable winter experience for both pets and their people.”
Community members who see a pet without appropriate shelter should report it to PACC’s animal protection dispatch at (520) 724-5900, extension 4. Officers will do their best to address these calls in a timely manner.
APS manager Christina Snow said calls like these go near the top of the emergency list.
“Many pets can be safe in outside temperatures with proper shelter, but puppies, smaller dogs, and older dogs should not be left outdoors when the temperature falls below 40 degrees,” Snow said.
PACC is also offering tips for pet owners to help them protect their pets from the cold.
- Bring pets indoors for the night.
- For outdoor-only pets, make sure there is adequate shelter, which not only provides overhead cover, but also protects from drafts and keep pets off the ground. Blankets and straw can both provide relief from the cold ground.
- Put sweaters or coats on pets when they are outside in cold weather. Pets in Tucson are not used to freezing cold temperatures so pet clothing can help keep them warm while out on a walk.
- Knock on your car before you start it in the morning to help critters safely escape before you start up the engine.
- License and microchip pets. If your pet becomes lost in dangerously cold weather, you will want to get it back as quickly as possible. Check your tags and microchip to make sure the information is up-to-date. You can check the microchip here and update your pet’s license here.
“The easiest way to keep them safe is to bring them inside your home,” Dangler said.
The shelter is open for essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. All non-emergency appointments will require an appointment. People can make their appointments and keep up with the operational changes at pima.gov/animalcare.