HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A call came in to Ottawa County dispatchers on Monday over the concern for a dog that had allegedly been tied out in the cold weather all night without adequate shelter in Holland Township.
The person reported that they could hear the dog howling at the home, with only a doghouse for shelter.
An Ottawa County Animal Control officer stopped by to check on the welfare of the German Shepard-mix Monday.
We talked to the owner who said the dog was typically left outside, but agreed that he would move the animal to the garage after we spoke to him.
Animal control also said that they advised the homeowner that he should get a larger doghouse because it was too small for the breed.
No citations were issued.
The case does bring up the need for attention to pets during times of dangerously low temperatures.
Ottawa County Sheriff Captain Lee Hoeksma says in this type of weather, you should bring your animals inside of a shelter, even if they are typically outside pets.
He says the temperatures are too extreme. Hoeksma says, if it’s dangerous for you to be out in the weather, it’s dangerous for your pets too.
Hoeksma says the other important tip for pet owners is to provide fresh water for pets.
If pets have an outdoor water supply, ice needs to be cleared from the watering bowl.
Humane Society of West Michigan’s Top Five Tips for pets in cold weather.
1. Outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. If there are outdoor cats around your home, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to ensure the cat can escape if it is in there.
2. When your dog comes in from outside, thoroughly wipe off their legs and stomach to prevent them from getting tiny cuts or cracked paws. This also prevents them from licking salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals that they may have walked in outside.
3. Don’t keep your dog or cat outside in the cold weather. No matter the temperature, wind chills can threaten a pet’s life too. Even with a dog house in the extreme cold we are currently experiencing, it is not safe to have your dog outside for long periods of time.
4. Limit outside time to bathroom breaks and short walks. As a general rule, if it is too cold for you, it is too cold for your pet.
5. In cold weather, it takes more energy for your pet to regulate their warmth. Provide them with plenty of water to prevent dehydration.