OHIO COUNTY (WTRF) With the recent drop in temperatures and an increase in ice and snow, don’t forget about your four-legged friends. 

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If you’re cold, they’re probably cold too. Ohio County Animal Shelter employee, Wendy Naubauer says you need to protect them from the elements. She recommends when it’s 32 degrees or lower outside, not to have them out for longer than 30 minutes. 

I have three chihuahuas and I make sure they have their vests on. Sometimes people wear dog boots on their animals or just walk them for short periods of time don’t go for hours.

If you leave them out, their body temperature drops, their water will freeze, they can’t defend themselves. Just like you wouldn’t want to be left outside in the cold or your children, we have to be the voice for them, and we have to protect them

Wendy Naubauer, Ohio County Animal Shelter employee  

She says the pads they have on their feet can even stick and freeze to the ground. Leaving them injured or even stuck. 

West Virginia state law requires all animals outside must have food, water and a shelter with three covered sides. You can add straw, blankets, food, and water to their outdoor kennel to help protect them in colder weather.  

Animal neglect is a big problem. If you notice an animal out in concerning weather conditions or without proper shelter, say something.  You can contact animal control, the humane society, or local law enforcement.