Officials asked residents to protect pets from the cold

Hay for horses, straw for claws.

As temperatures drop near and below freezing, Pine Bluff Animal Control officials are asking residents to bring their pets inside or fill their outdoor living spaces with straw.

Jefferson County experienced temperatures last week that dipped as low as 13 degrees, a temperature that could potentially be unsafe depending on the age, health and breed of pets, animal control director Marcus Graydon said. Is.

Weather is one of the biggest risks, Grayden said, especially when it comes to dogs.

“They can be outside but we say that whatever habitat they’re in should have plenty of straw because straw doesn’t hold water,” he said. Graydon said he doesn’t recommend grass or blankets because the grass will retain moisture and the blankets will freeze.

With the straw, it retains their body heat, he said.

Grayden also says to check your water every two to three hours. “Depending on how cold it is, the water will freeze,” he said. “Check your pets periodically.”

Graydon prefers to bring pets inside the building or garage. “If you have a building, it’s even better because it will block the wind but still put the straw in the building to regulate body temperature,” he said. “I don’t recommend keeping puppies outside because they can’t regulate their body heat that way. With puppies, I would recommend bringing them indoors.”

The Jefferson County Humane Society also offers quick tips for winterizing a pet dog home. Those tips are:

Turn the house away from the direction the wind is blowing.

Not a blanket. Towels or dog beds.

Use straw for insulation.

Fill the dog house with more straw than you think they need.

Pit bulls and pit mixes (short, thin-coated dogs) are not built to withstand freezing temperatures outside because of their low body fat percentage.

Grayden said pet owners may have a preference if they are adamant about not keeping their dog indoors because it is not house-trained. “I would love to see every dog ‚Äč‚Äčinside my house,” he said. “If they’re outside, make sure they’re where the air can be blocked and a bunch of straw. As long as they have these elements they’ll be fine. You can also seal their entrances for more air blocking. can also be covered.”

Paying attention to your dog’s body language is one factor that Graydon said will help a pet owner determine if a dog is too cold for comfort. “Just check your pet like you would anyone else who isn’t in heat,” she said. “If you see your dog shivering, bring him inside to warm him up and bring his temperature back up.”

Hoping for favorable weather soon, the staff at Pine Bluff Animal Control is looking forward to its Valentine’s Day: Give a Cup of Love Feb. 10 at the shelter, located at 901 N. Haverty.

“People can donate $5 to show the dogs some love with a sweet treat,” Graydon said. One dog will receive a cup of whipped cream with each donation, Graydon said.

“We’ll go live from noon to 2 p.m.,” he said. “If people want to come out and donate in person, they can stop by the shelter or pay by phone.”

That same day, Best Friends, a nonprofit organization that partnered with the Pine Bluff Animal Shelter last year, will host an adoption event at the shelter.

Best Friends helps animal shelters reach and maintain a 90% or higher save rate. Graydon announced new services the shelter will provide this year. “The adoption fee will increase to $100, which includes the spay or neuter fee and a microchip,” he said.

Microchipping your pet helps when it’s lost or stolen because it gives them the best chance of identification, according to Graydon. “A lot of dogs don’t have tags on them and their collars don’t come off,” she said. “Microchips are permanent.”

However, Graydon said if a microchipped dog changes ownership, the new owner must come in to register the microchip in their name.

Anyone interested in adopting and wanting to see what the shelter has can visit their Facebook page or look up the shelter at, Graydon explained. For more information on how to adopt an animal, call (870) 543-5135 or visit them Monday through Friday at 901 N. Haverty Street between 1pm and 5pm.

According to the Jefferson County Humane Society, if a Jefferson County resident needs a dog house call and leave a voice message at (870) 247-2677.

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