ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA)–With cold temperatures in the forecast for next week, Anderson County P.A.W.S. is reminding you about the importance of keeping your pets warm too.
Anderson County P.A.W.S. started a new initiative called, “Project in the Dog House.” They hope the project will ensure every animal in the county has the proper shelter.
During this time of year, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Unit issues many citations to owners for ill treatment of animals for improper shelter.
“So state law for South Carolina does require that dogs have shelter, and that can vary by county. Here in Anderson County, the ordinance requires the shelter to have a floor and three sides. And so they need the animal to be dry and hopefully that would provide some warmth as well,” said Dr. Kim Sanders, Veterinarian and Director at Anderson County P.A.W.S
P.A.W.S works with animal control in Anderson County. Dr. Sanders said when it’s cold, raining, or heavy winds, dogs can become dehydrated. Dogs can also experience things like hypothermia and die.
“Most often, it’s going to be young animals that are going to be hypothermic, you know, that would get really cold. But certainly we do see animals come in all the time that are skinny and cold, and shivering, and so, it’s definitely a need in our community,” Dr. Sanders said. “So imagine being wet on top of it being freezing. And that’s just a devastating effect, and the cold can kill these animals,” she added.
It’s one reason why Garrett McCullough, a dog parent of four, has his pets inside. Having your pets inside is what animal control suggests owners do when temperatures drop near freezing.
“When it gets 30 degrees, I don’t think any animal should be outside, unless it’s made for the cold weather,” McCullough said.
Now, Anderson County P.A.W.S wants to supply any families in need with a free dog house and bales of straw to keep them warm, and they’re asking the community to also help.
“We are asking people to just look around their yards, their homes, their garages, and see if they have any dog houses that they can donate to the animal shelter. And that way we can refurbish them if they need anything and give those to people in our community that need a dog house for their pets,” Dr. Sanders said.
The veterinarian said some owners are not able to afford them, leaving animals left to sleep under cars or houses. That’s why they said you should remember–when you’re cold outside, chances are your pets are too.
“The thought of them being out there when it’s freezing cold is just heartbreaking for us. And so we really want to make sure, every animal in need in our community, is taken care of,” Dr. Sanders said.
Dr. Sanders said before you receive the free dog house, your dogs must be spayed and neutered. If you’re pets aren’t spayed and neutered, P.A.W.S. is willing to help.
If you would like to drop off a dog house- used or new- you can go by the Anderson County P.A.W.S at 1320 Highway 29 S in Anderson. They are also willing to pick up any donations from your home if you’d like to donate.
If you are in need of help, contact Anderson County P.A.W.S at 864-260-4151. For any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anderson County Ordinance 42-116(3) says:
“Failing to provide bedding and shelter, adequate in any given situation, to provide protection from the elements necessarily to prevent death or suffering, for any animal or pet kept outdoors or in an unheated enclosure.”
You can see a max fine of $1087.50 per animal.