PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. — With temperatures expected to be in the low 20s for the next several nights, Pima Animal Care Center officials have a message for those who usually keep their pets outside.
"Where we normally get about 30 calls a day for emergencies, we're now getting anywhere from 70 to 80 calls. Officers are responding to them as quickly as they can," said Christina Snow.
Bringing the pets inside is best, but putting on sweaters, and putting hay or blankets in a dog house, for example, can help as well.
"Tucson animals are used to warmer weather, so when we get these below freezing temperatures, its harder for them to acclimate. They're not used to it," said Snow.
If an officer arrives to your home, and a neglect call checks out, you may get a ticket. Having a neglect citation is a criminal charge and the citation fees are decided by a judge.
"You are required by law to have adequate shelter which means you need to have a top and four sides. The flooring needs to allow draining, and it has to have proper ventilation as well," said snow.
The easiest way to protect your pets through these overnight temps is to keep them at home and indoors. Community members who see a pet without appropriate shelter should report it to PACC's animal protection dispatch at (520) 724-5900, extension 4. Officers will do their best to address these calls in a timely manner.