The Great Outdoors

Cold Weather Pet Protocols & Community Cat Tips

As the temperature drops, Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control advises pet owners and community cat volunteers to take precautions and plan.

If your pet is going to spend time outside, protect them by providing a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in their body heat. Make sure they are provided with fresh and not frozen water, as well as extra food.

City ordinance requires animals to be brought into a temperature-controlled structure when temperatures dip below 10 degrees and when a local, state, or national authority has issued a wind chill warning.

A reminder that animals cannot remain outside longer than 15 minutes without access to adequate shelter and potable water, no matter the temperature, according to city ordinance.

Animal Care & Control offers free straw while supplies last to any Fort Wayne City resident needing animal bedding during these cold winter days. Pet owners are urged to continually monitor the needs of pets and the temperature whenever the animals are outdoors.

Community Cat Providers are encouraged to build shelters to support and keep our community cats safe and warm. Instructions on how to build a shelter can be found at Providers may also pick up straw from FWACC while supplies last.

Cold weather can make healing/recovering from community cat surgery difficult. The shaved portions are exposed to the elements, putting them at a higher risk of frostbite, hypothermia, and, in extreme cases, death. Community Cat Providers are to follow safe trapping/confinement protocols and be prepared to house the cat for additional days after surgery if dictated by the medical team.

For more information and tips to keep your pets safe please visit For more tips on helping your community cats please see

The Waynedale News Staff
Latest posts by The Waynedale News Staff (see all)

The Waynedale News Staff

Our in-house staff works with community members and our local writers to find, write and edit the latest and most interesting news-worthy stories. We are your free community newspaper, boasting positive, family friendly and unique news. > Read More Information About Us > More Articles Written By Our Staff