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

123 comments

Ant m
Ant m2 months ago

tks ......

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Paulo R
Paulo R2 months ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo R2 months ago

ty

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heather g
heather g2 months ago

Cruel pet owners should be heavily fined - or locked away as well when a pet dies due to exposure.

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KimJ M
KimJ M2 months ago

tfs

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KimJ M
KimJ M2 months ago

tfs

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joan silaco
joan silaco2 months ago

TYFS

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KimJ M
KimJ M2 months ago

tfs

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KimJ M
KimJ M2 months ago

tfs

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KimJ M
KimJ M2 months ago

Animals must be protected from the elements, both heat and cold can kill

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