Remember your pets during freezing conditions

Animal control officers patrols for pets in danger
Posted at 10:34 PM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-13 23:34:35-05

Staying outside for too long in these freezing conditions is dangerous for anyone, but animals can also be susceptible to the cold.

Animal Control Officer Paul Schmidt, with the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC), patrols for pets in danger.

"The best way to help a lot of animals, is to help educate the owners," Schmidt said.

Schmidt says he's responded to an increased number of calls about strays in the cold, and owners keeping their animals outside.

"Sometimes it doesn't hurt to go up and recommend they provide better shelter, and bring their pet in someplace warm," Schmidt says. "If I see a dog in a backyard, I'll loop around and check on it again in about 30 minutes, to make sure it was brought inside."

The same goes for people. Milwaukee's Rescue Mission and other shelters are trying to reach everyone.

"We help hundreds of men, women, and children every night," says Dan Brown, with the Rescue Mission. "If you see someone in the cold, you should contact the police."

The Milwaukee Police Department's Homeless Outreach Team is out in full force.

"We're also in close contact with Marquette University's Police Department," Brown says. "We provide them with homeless kits for their squads to help people outside, and they will bring people to us as well."

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced Tuesday that the county is trying to add more warming centers and beds at shelters. If you're part of a church or organization that may have capacity to become a warming center, you are urged to get in touch with the county.

The freezing temps kept many people away from opening night of Slice of Ice at Red Arrow Park.

"When it's cold, there are less people, so it's easier to skate faster," says Ravi Frederick, a freshman at Pius High School.

Frederick, and his friend Jack Engel-Kaminski, had the rink to themselves.

"The cold doesn't bother me," says Engel-Kaminski. "When you throw on a few layers, it's not bad. If you keep going, you can build up a sweat."