NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Animal Society is urging people to take steps to protect their pets from the cold weather.
Temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s on Wednesday and Thursday nights and a Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for Wednesday night through 11 a.m. on Thursday.
"Because the Charleston area rarely experiences temperatures this low, it is natural that many local residents are not accustomed to planning for sub-freezing temperatures," Dr. Sarah Boyd, the Director of Shelter Health and Wellness, said. "However, it is very important to take some simple steps to protect pets from the bitter cold."
The organization encourages pet owners to consider these steps:
Keep cats inside. Domestic cats are not equipped for cold weather and can freeze, or become lost, stolen, injured or killed when seeking protection from the cold.
Provide warm shelter for feral cats. This can be provided through a variety of resources found in most homes. Simply take some kind of container, such as a storage bin, cat or dog carrier or even a sturdy box and provide it with insulation. For insulation, you can line the container with a variety or combination of things such a blanket or a pillow, Styrofoam or hay.
Bang loudly on your hood before starting your car. Outdoor or homeless cats often seek the warmth of a car engine. When the motor is started, a cat huddled there can be injured or killed by the fan belt.
Never leave pets alone in a car during cold weather. A car can trap cold in the winter, and potentially cause an animal to freeze to death.
Puppies and older dogs do not tolerate cold as well as younger adult dogs. During extreme cold consider taking them outside only for potty breaks.
Beware antifreeze! Antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Just a small amount of antifreeze can lead to kidney failure. It has a very sweet taste and animals will drink it. Never leave it laying around where a pet can get to it, and keep them out of garages and driveways where antifreeze may have leaked