AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Experts want you to remember to keep your four-footed friends safe and warm this winter season or you could face a citation.
When cold weather hits, it can affect pets as much as it can people.If you do keep your pets outdoors during the cold, officials say you need to prepare for it.
“So, if you’re going to be housing your animal outside, you do need to make sure you do your due diligence to make sure you protect your animal from those elements that could potentially harm those animals,” said Richard Havens, Director of Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare for the City of Amarillo.
You run the risk of facing a citation if you don’t provide basic proper shelter for your pets.
That means you need three solid sides, a floor and a roof.
“If we come across, especially in inclement weather, if we come across violations we have very little tolerance for individuals who are not taking care of their animals," said Havens. “We will just move to writing citations and setting guidelines for when you will bring your animal into compliance.”
According to the ASPCA, putting Vaseline or something similar on your pets paws can help protect them from salt and chemicals on the ground.
In the Panhandle, wind is also challenging during the winter.
“Now the wind is something else, I have a little dog that seems to really hate the wind more than the cold,” said NewsChannel10′s Chief Meteorologist Doppler Dave Oliver. “Think about what it’s like for us when we walk around in 40 mph winds and they’re 8 pounds trying to get around. We try to get them a little extra love and inside time when it’s windy too.”
“Here in the Panhandle, we have a lot of wind and it tends to open up a lot of fences," said Havens. "Now that’s definitely not mitigating circumstances or will it absolve you of any legal obligations. So you need to make sure that your fence is in good standing and it can withstand any of the winds we see in the Panhandle.”
If you’re interested in adopting a pet and can care for it safely, Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare is offering $5 adoptions for cats and $10 dollars for dogs, for the rest of December.
These prices include spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchips.