Shelters Urge Pet Owners to Prepare Early for "Harsh" Winter - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Shelters Urge Pet Owners to Prepare Early for "Harsh" Winter

MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) -

Local animal shelters and rescue groups are reminding West Texans about winter pet safety earlier than usual this year.

"Prepare now," said Amanda Rosales, a leader of non-profit organization Midland Animal Shelter Adoptables (MASA).  "It's getting colder earlier and that means you need to get your supplies and blankets before it really gets cold."

She urged pet owners to stock up on fleece blankets, straw padding, dog sweaters and layers of insulation to attach to dog houses or outdoor kennels.

"The best thing you can do is make sure there's proper shelter," Rosales explained. "Blankets can also make a huge difference."

She said frostbite, hypothermia and cold-related deaths are common among outdoor animals who are unprotected during the winter months. Last year was "especially harsh," according to Rosales, and left pet owners throughout the Basin with pricey vet bills.

"If you're cold, your dog is cold, too," said Rosales. "Do the right thing and at least put a sweater on [your pet]."

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