The Dallas Animal Services called out for aid as the winter storm brings heavy consequences for the city’s dogs according to a Dallas Observer article from February 7 which reports,
“The pandemic has been hard on pets, but it got worse this week when the cold weather in Texas created a perfect storm at Dallas Animal Services. Throughout the last few days, there’s been a large increase in emergency, cold-weather animal calls, and DAS is running out of kennels to house all the dogs in need of warm shelter.
“The ice and snow couldn’t have come at a worse time,” DAS Director MeLissa Webber said in a press release. “It really has created the perfect storm at DAS. We are currently at capacity for medium and large dogs.”
There are nearly 400 pets in the DAS shelter and staff expect to take in dozens more in the coming days. “Without additional support from our community, we’re going to be faced with some very difficult euthanasia decisions, which we all desperately want to avoid,” Webber said.
DAS is now encouraging people to consider fostering or adopting a pet. “We have so many wonderful dogs who would love to provide extra warmth to your family,” Webber said. “Taking them home even for a few days will literally save their lives. They are depending on the compassion of our community.”
However, even if Dallas residents are unable to adopt or take care of stray dogs, the Dallas Animal Services advised them to care for their own pets according to a Dallas Morning News article February 4 which reports,
“According to Dallas city code, owners must provide pets access “at all times” to drinkable water and shelter that protects them from direct sunlight, standing water and extreme weather, including temperatures below 32 degrees.
Leslie Sans, the organization’s executive director, said people should call 311 to report people whose pets are being kept outdoors in the cold. She also encouraged people to adopt and foster animals housed at shelters “to get them the care and the love that they need.”
Unprotected animals can also be reported through the OurDallas mobile app.”
To help residents understand and know more about pet maintenance during the winter storm, the Dallas Animal Services acquired some helpful tips from an ASPCA article which says,
“Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry.
Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.”
Currently, the Dallas Animal Services needs help after suffering from staff shortage due to the Omicron Variant of the COVID-19.