• Animals in serious danger due to frigid temps

    By: Zach Crenshaw

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - With the frigid temperatures dropping even lower overnight, animals are at risk of freezing to death.

    Advocates are urging owners to bring dogs inside and call police if they’re left out. 

    In other states, some dogs have already frozen to death. 


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    Whitney Novak was in Overton Park when she was spotted a stray dog.

    “It was below freezing,” she said. “The sun would be setting soon, and I couldn't sleep at night if I left her.”

    Novak took in the dog, which is what animal advocates say is crucial to do with any animal right now.

    “We are seeing days upon days of these extreme cold temperatures, and where we would normally advise people of ways you could keep your pets warm if they live outside, we are begging you right now, don't. Take them inside!” said Alexis Pugh, Director of Memphis Animal Services (MAS).

    Memphis Animal Services has felt the impact of the cold weather in a different way.

    “Our call volume has absolutely spiked, mostly from good Samaritans letting us know about conditions they have seen. That they feel are inadequate,” said Pugh.

    “One example was on Friday. We got a call about two dogs sitting outside in wire crates.”

    The city services group took action.

    “We went out, and we seized those animals and we charged [the owners] cruelty,” she said.

    There are similar stories across Memphis.

    “I hear dogs that have owners outside, and that breaks my heart,” said Novak.

    At least one dog has been saved thanks to Novak, but others will still need to be rescued for the frigid cold.

    “We need people to call in. We need people to speak up and be the voices for these animals,” said Pugh.

    If you see a dog left outside for long periods of time with no enclosed kennel, straw, or blankets call MAS at 636-1416.

    If you notice the dog after hours, call 901-545-COPS.

    Give a specific address and description of the situation and police will work with MAS to pick up the animal.

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