Increased calls to check on pets as cold weather arrives

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MUNCIE – Animal Control Officers in Muncie have received more calls lately asking them to check on the welfare of animals due to bitterly cold temperatures.

“Before we opened, we already received several calls (from) dispatch, letting us know that there were (several welfare checks) through the city and (we) had several (calls) yesterday as well,” Phil Peckinpaugh said.

Peckinpaugh is the superintendent of the Muncie Animal Shelter. He said phone calls have increased because people want to make sure pets that are outside are okay.

“The calls we’ve had (of) this nature are just now starting to pick up. We’ll see this continue ’til spring hits,” Peckinpaugh said.

Peckinpaugh said people need to make sure their dogs have a dog house and that it is properly insulated. You can use straw. Owners need to make sure their pet has plenty of food and water.

Monday, officers revisited homes they were asked to check a week ago. During the follow-up visits, Officer Olivia Garringer said the owners they visited had corrected what they were supposed to fix.

“It sucks when we go out and it’s not corrected ’cause then we’re removing the dog, but at least we’re getting the dog a shelter,” Garringer said.

As it gets colder, Peckinpaugh said they want to make sure people are not leaving their pets outside for too long.

“Our goal is to educate owners and let them know how they should appropriately be caring for their dogs and removing the dogs is the worse case scenario,” Peckinpaugh said.