Owner charged after 2 dogs left outside in extreme cold are rescued, Des Moines shelter says
Two dogs left outside during dangerous cold and wind in northeastern Polk County were removed and taken to a shelter, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa said in a news release Wednesday.
The shelter said the dogs, Chloe and Sophie, were chained outside and couldn't get to food, water or shelter, save for a homemade doghouse and plastic crate. They were found in the 10000 block of Northeast 120th Street.
Rebecca Woods, 22, was charged with two counts of animal neglect, which are simple misdemeanor charges.
The dogs were found outside on January 24. Woods was issued a citation on January 25, but was not brought into jail.
The news release said other dogs inside the house were being cared for.
People who see animals in distress should call a non-emergency police line, the ARL said.
The shelter offers free doghouses, straw and more for pet owners, and through Friday, the shelter at 5452 N.E. 22nd St. is a warming station between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Homeless persons who need shelter at locations that do not allow pets can board them for free at the ARL as well this week.
Call 211 or 515-262-9503 for help.
The National Weather Service says record-low temperatures, combined with the wind, will make it dangerous for humans and animals to be outside throughout Wednesday.
Tips for your pets from the Animal Rescue League of Iowa:
- Puppies, small dogs and older dogs have a lower tolerance for cold temperatures. Let them outside only to relieve themselves.
- If your dog is built for colder weather and enjoys playing in the cold, increase its amount of food, especially by adding extra protein to its diet.
- Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep that's off of the floor and away from drafts. If indoors, provide a warm blanket or pet bed. If you have an outside dog, consider bringing it inside. If your dog must stay outside, make sure it has adequate shelter and unfrozen water. The shelter must keep it warm and include dry bedding, such as straw. Do not use blankets outside because it will collect water and freeze.
- Keep indoor cats inside. Cats can get lost in wintry weather and become injured or worse. If there are cats outdoors, provide them with a warm place to sleep, access to unfrozen water and nutritious food.
- Dogs that are let off-leash during the winter, especially during a snowstorm, have a higher chance of becoming lost. Make sure your dog is wearing ID tags and has been microchipped.
- Check twice before starting your car. Outdoor cats often climb under the hoods of cars to keep warm. When the motor starts, the cat may be injured or killed by the fan belt. Knock or bang loudly on the hood of your car before starting it to give cats a chance to escape.
- Never leave your cat or dog in a vehicle in cold weather. The vehicle acts as a refrigerator, keeping the cold in and causing the animal to freeze.
- Towel dry your dog’s paws, legs and stomach when bringing them inside. Chemical agents used to melt ice can be dangerous for your dog to ingest. Snow and encrusted ice may also cause your dog’s paws to bleed.
- Never shave your dog to the skin in the winter. Dogs need their coat to provide warmth. Keep pets’ fur mat free. Mats do not allow the pet’s coat to keep the animal warm.