Bring them in: Wichita non-profits warn sub-zero temperatures could be deadly for pets

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The sub-zero temperatures and wind chills could be threatening to not only your health but also your animals.

“A lot of people that just are kind of underestimating how bad this is going to be. Underestimating the fact that animals can absolutely die in this weather, and if they don’t take appropriate precautions, that could definitely happen,” said Christy Fischer, executive director for the Wichita Animal Action League.

WAAL volunteers spent their Saturday braving the cold doing dozens of welfare checks to make sure animals are warm. Volunteers giving away sturdy shelters and straw to help pet owners.

“They are just running their tails off trying to get to as many animals as they possibly can,” Fischer said.

The number one tip is to bring your furry friends inside.

“Don’t just be looking at their winter coats. Remember that animals are just as susceptible to frostbite to hypothermia as people can be,” Fischer added.

“Even if it’s in a basement or utility room or your garage preferably something heated, make sure that they come inside. The wind chill can be especially dangerous on ears, wet noses, paws,” said Emily Hurst, president and CEO of the Kansas Humane Society.

Other tips include making sure to clean off your pet’s paws after a walk.

“The antifreeze, the salts, deicers, all of these things that chemicals get onto their paws, and they’ll lick them off. I mean, it’s incredibly dangerous for them,” Hurst said.

Remember that stray animals will also be trying to stay warm.

“Outdoor cats or community cats will actually go inside of the hood of your car for warmth and sleep there, and once you have turned your engine on, it can be too late. So, you want to make sure that you can bang on the hood, honk the horn, each time that you still start the car when it’s really cold outside,” Hurst said.

WAAL is encouraging you to speak out if you are concerned about an animal’s safety.

Reminding people if it’s too cold for you, it’s likely too cold for your pet.

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