An incredible intake in a single day for the Fayetteville Animal Shelter. 20 dogs and cats, now protected from freezing conditions.
"For January, to take in 20 animals in one day is pretty huge for us... People just knew that the colder temperatures were coming so they wanted to make sure they were going to be safe and if they're here, they're safe... Just really the concerns of hypothermia... They can suffer from frostbite. They have a fur coat, but that doesn't necessarily insulate them very well," said Tony Rankin, Fayetteville Animal Services Program Manager.
The animal control crew will be out scouring the streets and responding 24/7 as wind chills force degrees to negative digits.
"During these extremely cold snaps where the temperatures drop down this far, we consider a report of a loose animal to be an emergency... If we see a dog in a backyard and we can't determine if there's a doghouse or not, we're going to take a closer look at it and make sure that that dog's going to have what it needs to get through a very cold night. If they don't, then we might very well have to take action to make sure that that animal's going to be okay."
Feline friends and canine companions need heat just like humans and thanks to good Samaritans bringing in strays, several little noses and wagging tails will stay warm.
"If it's too cold for you to be outside in it, then it's really too cold for them... Fayetteville is just a very kind and generous community that's willing to help out not only their neighbors, but their neighbors' animals."
From a legal standpoint, Rankin said any person in the State of Arkansas has the right to take in a stray animal they find loose. If it ends up belonging to someone, you will not get in trouble for rescuing it for a night. Of course, if you do not know the dog or cat, use extreme caution when approaching it or just call animal control.
During normal business hours, call (479) 444-3456. If you spot a stray after hours during freezing temperatures, call the non-emergency line for police and they will contact the on-call animal control officer.