Amarillo sees rise in calls for pets left out in cold weather conditions

Pets left out in the cold

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare responded to an increase of calls about animals outside in the cold during last week’s winter storm.

An Amarillo veterinarian says there are a lot of ways pets can be injured during a storm last week.

“The tips of the ears can freeze and die and fall off, or the tip of the nose can get frozen. Fingers and toes can get frozen, and fluff, the tail, anything that is out at the end of the blood supply runs the risk of getting frozen,” said Dr. Merten Pearson, a veterinarian at Noah’s Ark Pet Hospital.

AAM&W says they have responded to more welfare calls this year than years past.

“This is one of the worst years as far as weather goes, and us having to respond to welfare calls,” said Ty Vernon, field service supervisor for the Animal Management and Welfare team.

The team responded to over 430 calls from February 12, through the 18, and 46 percent of those were welfare checks.

“We respond to them out at the address where the animal is and look for appropriate food, water, and shelter, and make sure the animal is taken care of and isn’t suffering. And we’re looking for temperatures, and if water is frozen, and if the structure that the animal is in is a proper shelter through the City of Amarillo ordinance,” said Vernon.

Vernon says during severe temperatures, they ask owners to bring the pets inside their house.

If they end up having multiple violations on the property, they’ll educate that citizen.

If needed, he says they’ll give them a warning.

“We kind of like to educate first issue warnings, then issue citations and if it’s really, really severe, we can pursue with animal cruelty charges,” said Vernon.

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