Animal Control Officers Spend Night Outdoors to Raise Awareness of Cold Weather Dangers

Despite temperatures dipping down to historic lows, some neglectful pet owners apparently think it’s fine to leave their dogs and cats outdoors on these subfreezing winter nights. I’m not sure what they could possibly be thinking do they really believe their pet’s fur will keep them warm?

“A lot of times when people become dog owners, they think, ‘Oh, they’re a dog, they can sustain, do whatever,’” officer Joaquin Guerrero with Michigan’s Saginaw County Animal Care & Control (SCACC) told WJRT. “But they’re not educated for the summer weather, the fall, the spring, the winter — and we run into these problems.”

Guerrero and animal control officers across the country have been busy rescuing pets left outside in frigid temperatures or in too many tragic cases, removing their lifeless bodies. On New Year’s Day, a young pit bull was found frozen to death on a chain inside his dog house in Hartford, Conn. The owner has been charged with animal cruelty, and more than 200,000 people have signed a Care2 petition urging that she be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Earlier this month, a little Pomeranian abandoned in a carrier outside Detroit Dog Rescue late at night was discovered frozen to death the next morning. Over 47,000 people have signed a Care2 petition demanding that the man who can be seen on security camera footage dumping the dog be charged with animal cruelty.

In a brave effort to raise awareness of why it’s never a good idea to leave pets outdoors in the cold, Guerrero, along with officers Trish Barnes and Anthony Trevino, are spending the night of Jan. 12 outside at the Apple Mountain ski resort in Freeland, Mich., during an event called “Freezin’ for a Reason The Sound of Silence.” From 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., two officers will stay inside special dog houses built by prisoners at the Saginaw Correctional Facility, while the third officer will have no shelter at all.

Like many dogs left out in the cold, Guerrero will be attached to a chain. “They’re stuck there, they can’t move, they can’t let their natural instincts kick in for them,” he told WJRT.

Students from Hemmeter Elementary School in Saginaw will spend the night indoors nearby. They’ll be monitoring the officers’ temperatures and comfort levels for a school project. Project Underdog, a group of local volunteers who provide shelter and supplies to outdoor dogs in need, is co-hosting the event and will be providing important information about cold-weather dangers for pets. Medical personnel will also be on hand, just in case.

Everyone in the area is invited to attend “Freezin’ for a Reason” and cheer the officers on. For those of us who don’t happen to live nearby, the officers will be streaming Facebook Live updates on the SCACC Facebook page throughout the night.

The officers will also be raising funds to help SCACC care for animals throughout the year.

“We’ve got to be that voice” for animals left out in the cold, Guerrero told WJRT. “We’ve got to help them so it doesn’t happen, so we don’t find these animals frozen. And we can’t save them all, but the ones we can save, or the awareness we can bring — that just keeps educating more and more people.”

Photo credit: Freezin' for a Reason — The Sound of Silence/Facebook

111 comments

Linda L
Linda Lyesterday

Wonderful event for a lovely cause

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Isa J

Thank you so much !

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Isa J

Thank you so much !

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Isa J

Thank you so much !

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Leo C
Leo C3 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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sharon b
sharon b4 days ago

Thx

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Nicole Heindryckx

@ Sherri S & Christine S & Cruel Justice & some others : I will repeat it once again : You never punish bad behavior with more bad behavior. Do you feel still "humane" when you beat these owners to the brink to death ?? NO, NO, NO !! For Cruel Justice, I wld like to add : you are certainly cruel, but justice ?? Far from ...

@ John Casablanca : Thanks vm for yr comments, opening (hopefully) the eyes of many people who effectively do such stupid things unintentionally !!

@ Deborah W : I don't understand that you can't appreciate this action. First of all, there are far far too less of them. To cover up their "territory" on a 24/7 basis, may be they should be 5-fold the number they are now. And this action will raise awareness of a lot of people, viz. that it is ALSO too cold for dogs in a simple wooden box, without insulation. And why don't you start in your neighborhood to drive around and take note of all the animals staying outside and hand yr list to the Animal Control Service the next day !! And I mean ALL, not only cats & dogs, but also pony's, little & big horses, cows, goats, and a lot more ... wish you good luck !! And may be hand the Judges a copy of yr list as well. They have the final word. Most of the times, it are softies when animal abusers stand in front of them.

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Angela K
Angela K4 days ago

Petition already signed & shared

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Pietro Maiorana
Pietro Maiorana4 days ago

Gli animali da soccorso sono preziosi alleati!!

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Janis K
Janis K4 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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