Keeping Virginia animals protected from the cold: 'We're here to help'

Posted at 12:16 PM, Nov 29, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- The cold weather can be tough to deal with for anybody and that extends to our pets as well. In fact, Virginia law requires adequate shelter be provided for companion animals.

With the weather forecast putting the lows in the 20's and 30's with possible rain officials with Richmond Animal Care and Control say bringing those pets inside especially at night.

Richmond Animal Care and Control is offering free straw to those who cannot bring their animals inside. That includes those who aren't able to make it to the shelter, "if transportation is an issue we're here to help and we will bring it out to them," explained RACC supervisor Caitlin Stallings.

Experts say if you do use hay to keep your animals warm you should spread it out at the bottom of their enclosure so it keeps them dry and off the ground.

And they remind you that transportation crates don't count as a proper enclosure. Animals also have to have access to water that is not frozen.

If you see an animal in need of help, animal control officers ask you give them a call. "... the stray and injured calls they just keep coming," said Caitlin Stallings, "our officers get them on a daily basis and its not just one or two."

Here are some more tips for pet owners:

  • If you have a cat, keep in mind that their fur isn't as thick as most dogs, so it is especially important that they be brought inside
  • Be careful using salt that is put down to reduce slipping on ice. It is an irritant on paws so you don't want your pets exposed to it for too long.
  • Consider getting your pets boots for the snow so they would have a limited exposure

If you need assistance in caring for your animals RACC can help through their intake line (804) 646-5573.

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