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If it's too cold for you outside, it's probably too cold for your pet

New Orleans has activated its freeze plan so all pets must be brought inside.

NEW ORLEANS — If it’s too cold for you outside, it’s probably too cold for your pet.  New Orleans has activated its freeze plan so all pets must be brought inside. 

Friday, city animal control officers responded to a call of six dogs left outside in New Orleans East. When they arrived, they were only able to spot one of the dogs. 

Neighbors say the animals got out of their yard and have been roaming the streets for the past couple of days.

Anna Zorilla at the Louisiana SPCA says the calls started coming in as soon as the temperature dropped. 

“In Orleans Parish, once the city activates the freeze plan, any pets that are left outdoors are considered to be in danger,” Zorilla said. “If you see an animal left outside call 911 to report it.” 

Officers rescued the dog and brought it to the animal shelter. Friday morning, pets played at Wisner Park in the Uptown neighborhood. Their owners say they are taking special precautions because of the cold weather.  

“Outside of putting her jacket on her when she goes outside, she’s not really outside for more than like 5, 10 minutes at a time when it’s so cold,” Anna Rees said. “She doesn’t like the cold either.” 

“Both of us prefer a warmer walk, without the rain, but here we are,” Rich Katchum said.  

Just like people, cold tolerance will vary from pet to pet. So, it’s best to know what your furry friend can handle and adjust accordingly.

“Louie is a short hair dachshund and so he requires a jacket or a coat when we walk him when it’s this cold,” pet owner Jeff Morgan said. “The other dog Brees is a longhair. We don’t have to bundle up so much with him.” 

The LASPCA released some cold weather tips. 

They include:

  • Keeping your dog or cat indoors as much as possible,
  • If your dog has a short coat or seems bothered by the cold weather, consider a sweater or dog coat
  • Be aware that puppies, kittens, and senior pets are particularly sensitive to colder temperatures. 

“If your pet’s coming indoors and they don’t normally, you're going to want to make sure you pet-proof your house,” Zorilla said. “If you’re using a small space heater, you want to be careful that your pet’s not going to knock into it and cause a bigger problem in your home.” 

She also says extra hugs will also help keep your pet warm and comfortable during this cold weather event. 

“This is a good time for extra snuggling, so take the opportunity this weekend if you’re indoors with your pets to give them extra cuddles.” 

 Jeff Morgan agrees. 

“We let them get up on the bed,” Morgan said. “They usually sit up on the chair next to us, try to get on our laps. We might do that more when its colder.” 

There are also things you can do to help outside cats in your neighborhood.     Things like lining a crate with newspaper or even hay, or you can give them a place to stay warm. 

Again, if you see a pet left outside call 911. 

The situation could get critical in a hurry in freezing temperatures. 

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RELATED: Winter weather for southeast Louisiana: What to expect in your area

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