La Habra Police Pet Detective: Our pets get cold, too

By Shawn Price

La Habra Police Department Animal Control officers get to see the best and worst of how people treat animals. How much they care as well as how cruel they can be. But often, it’s simply a case of being misinformed.

While Animal Control officers are enforcing the laws that protect animals and the public, they get asked a lot of questions.

Behind the Badge is taking some of your questions to La Habra Police Department’s Senior Animal Control Officer Ian Daugherty, A.K.A “The Pet Detective,” for answers and tips for making your neighborhood a better place for people and pets.

Behind the Badge: If your dog or cat is an outside pet, what are pet owners required to do as the weather gets cooler?

Ian Daugherty: We in Southern California are extremely lucky not having to endure what most other states go through this time of year. However, we still get a taste of chill from November through February that affects our animals and, more so, those animals left outside during the night.

Depending on what part of Southern California you live in, the temperature at night can vary significantly. Temperatures in the 45- to 35-degree range may not sound too cold for us, after bundling ourselves up in our nice warm weather gear, but to a short-haired dog or cat spending the night outside, that’s pretty cold.

A good rule of thumb is if you have to put on extra clothes to keep warm at night, or even the day for that matter, then your animal might need some extra care and attention keeping warm, too.

California law requires all animals kept outside to have proper housing to protect them from the elements. Proper in its definition is keeping the animal dry from rain, shaded from the sun, sheltered from the wind, and warm from the cold. There are many varieties of housing one can choose from but it’s important that it’s right for the animal you have.

Of course, the best place for your animal to be is in the home where you can be sure it’s safe and sound.

Please send any questions you might have about animals in your home or community to Behind the Badge’s Facebook page: facebook.com/OCBehindTheBadge/