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Pet care essential in winter

By By William F. West / community editor
Nov. 8, 2002
Chilly conditions mean both pets and people need to keep warm this winter.
Meridian and Lauderdale County residents who fail to keep their pets sheltered, dry and nourished could receive a visit from an animal control officer and could also have to face a judge.
Dewayne Sosebee, director of animal control, said a city ordinance calls for imposing over a $100 fine on those who fail to keep their pets sheltered.
Sosebee said a county ordinance, approved in October 2001, punishes pet owners who keep pets chained or tethered without food, shelter and veterinary care. He said justice court judges have discretion over the type of punishment in county cases.
Sosebee said the county ordinance requires a complaining person to first file a written complaint so an animal control officer can investigate.
Theresa Broadway, a senior animal control officer at the shelter at 501 Cooper Ave., processes numerous pets for adoption.
Broadway said people also need to realize adopting a pet brings with it responsibility.
Broadway said it frustrates her when people bring pets and sometimes even their new-born offspring back to the shelter.
Broadway said a recent phone call by a woman is a good example.
Dr. George Shannon, a Meridian veterinarian, said when the temperature drops below freezing, dogs need to be kept in a place free of windy drafts.
Shannon said cats are pretty residual and will usually find themselves a place to go in the cold.
He said that's because cats and dogs start losing body heat at 28 degrees.