LEE COUNTY, Ala. – While Christmas is less than two weeks away, winter conditions have already swooped through the area, and people are urged to take extra precautions with their pets.
Doctor Steve Griffin from Smiths Station Animal Hospital said that animals are very habitual, and there is more activity during the holidays that can cause normal routines to be broken.
“We’re busy with tasks in preparing for the holidays, it may be children’s activities or visiting with family, it’s easy for the pets to often get relegated in the chain of priority to a much lower priority but it’s really important for them to maintain the same routine they do other times of the year,” Dr. Griffin said.
Doctor Griffin said that during the holidays people should not change their plans due to their pets, but should instead be extra observant of them.
Doctor Griffin said that people should not feed animals table food such as meats, chocolates, etc. People should ensure their Christmas trees are well anchored and that animals do not drink the tree water. Doctor Griffin added that in our area, there is not a large threat for extreme winter temperatures, but adds the great threat is the possibility of animals consuming antifreeze. Doctor Griffin said that people need to clean after using it and not leave it out, adding that if consumed, it can cause kidney failure if not diagnosed quickly.
When it comes to cold temperatures overnight, people should not leave their animals outside without the opportunity for shelter in freezing temperatures.
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said in the state there are various laws relating to animal cruelty on the books, and it is taken very seriously.
“The laws are tailored specifically toward any type of mistreatment of an animal, and we have been very active in investigations in the past and if the facts support a mistreatment or abuse of an animal, then certainly a person can expect to be held accountable for it,” Sheriff Jones said.