Animal Control Officers Endure Cold To Highlight Suffering Of Dogs Left Outside

Three brave animal control officers, with Michigan’s Saginaw County Animal Control, recently endured the bitter cold in an effort to highlight the suffering of outdoor dogs when the temperature plummets. Officers Trish Barnes, Joaquin Guerrero and Anthony Trevino volunteered to spend a cold January night outside at Apple Mountain in Freedland- their “Freezin’ for a Reason-the Sound of Silence” experiment provided a glimpse into the misery that dogs endure when they are forced to remain outdoors, regardless of the temperature.

The officers were provided with three scenarios for their “cold night out.” One officer was provided with a dog house with blankets, another with a straw-filled dog house, and the third had no shelter at all. Officer Barnes, who was provided with the dog house and blanket, also had to suffer with a cold chain around her neck – according to Mlive, she was so miserable and cold that she “tapped out” of the experiment at 9:30 p.m.

The other officers were equally miserable in the frigid conditions – Officer Trevino’s body temperature dropped to the brink of hypothermia in the 11-degree weather. The frigid temperature left the officers with aching bodies and sore bones; Trevino told Mlive about the pain associated with the extreme cold:

“I was probably at an eight or nine pain level – My body was ready to give up on me.”

The officers were wearing clothes to help protect them from the cold, and they had a designated amount of time that they were forced to be outside in the frigid weather. Imagine the suffering of a dog who has no end in sight? Imagine the pain associated with unprotected paws standing on the frozen ground or living with a cold, heavy chain that will never be removed.

The Freezin’ for a Reason experiment was a joint effort by the Saginaw Animal Care and Control, Project Underdog and Destination Imagination. Fifth graders from Hemetar Elementary were on hand to record the officers’ temperature and comfort levels, while learning about the impact of cold weather on outside dogs. The data collected will be utilized by animal control to help educate the public about the dangers of leaving animals outside, reported ABC 12 News.

In case you were wondering…the dog house with the straw, a light for heat, and a heated water bowl, was the best of the three options for outside dogs. According to Officer Barnes, blankets freeze outside and rob dogs of their body heat. Of course, the very best option is to bring dogs inside when the temperature drops below freezing. If for any reason that is not possible, adequate shelter, with plenty of straw, is an absolute must.

Find the Saginaw County Animal Care and Control on Facebook here.

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Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.

1 comment

  1. Velaine Paryzek says:

    Thank you animal control officers for raising awareness!!!!!

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