With dropping temps, protect your pets

Michigan Humane Society offers tips, asks for abuse and neglect reports

Published On: Jan 21 2013 04:46:20 PM EST

With plummeting temperatures, the Michigan Humane Society urges owners to protect their pets with these cold weather safety tips:

If an animal is cold to the touch, or his paws and ears are pale, he may be suffering from frostbite. Move the animal to a warmer area and call your vet immediately.

If pet owners leave their animals outdoors, they are required by Michigan law to provide enough food and water, as well as adequate shelter. MHS recommends an insulated, roofed dog house slightly elevated from the ground for good air circulation.

Clean, dry straw should be provided for bedding, rather than towels or blankets, which absorb moisture and freeze in frigid temperatures.

MHS is currently offering free straw for pets at the MHS Detroit Center for Animal Care, 7401 Chrysler Drive, between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays.

To report pets left outside without proper shelter in the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park, please call the MHS Cruelty Hotline at (313) 872-3401. A confidential message can be left 24 hours a day.

In other areas of the state, animal cruelty should be immediately reported to the local animal control or police department.