JACKSONVILLE, Ark. – The Jacksonville Animal Shelter is putting up layers to make sure all of their animals stay safe from the cold weather and has suggestions for pet owners when it comes to keeping their animals warm.

Jamie Parker is the Supervisor of Animal Control in Jacksonville she says they are over capacity at the shelter with about 70 dogs to take care of. With the temperature drop it only makes their job more thinly stretched.

Parker said despite that they are still turning no Jacksonville dogs away. She said their main mission when the cold comes is to keep their pets warm. On top of using many blankets and straw in kennels, Parker said they are also trying different things for the dogs that have to be in their outdoor kennel because of the limited space.

“The bigger dogs won’t fit in crates, so they are in the outside kennels,” Parker said. “This year is actually the first year we tarped off outside kennels with it being rainy and temperatures dropping and we’re just trying to block the wind.”

Parker said the tarps should protect the dogs in the outdoor kennels from the chilly wind, adding the dogs that are outside they made sure are cold weather breeds.

As for the dogs inside the shelter, Parker said they have central heat in the building and blankets in their kennels also to keep them warm.

She added that one of the differences between the inside kennels and the outdoor kennels is they also use straw for the outdoor kennels.

“That straw kind of helps insulate and their body heat will help insulate the straw and keep them warm,” said Parker.

Parker suggested dog owners use tarps, straw and blankets also for their pets that are outside because if not, it could be dangerous.

“With no straw, no blanket or whatever, if water [rain, ice, etc] gets inside their kennels they could freeze to death or freeze to the bottom of the doghouse,” Parker said. 

Although Parker said they have secured a lot in order to make sure their pets stay warm, she said the weather can always change leading to more effects for them.

“We’re just worried and if it gets to the ice and stuff or the power goes out, we just have to go to another plan,” Parker said.

She said they do have a plan in place if their power goes out, but she hopes it doesn’t.

Her biggest advice for pet owners when the temperatures fall is to bring their pets inside because just like it’s cold for pet owners outside it’s also cold for their pets