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Animal control officer reminds residents to bring pets in on cold days

HOULTON, Maine — The early start to winter has the local animal control officer reminding residents to keep a close watch on their pets.

The unusually early colder weather that began in October continued into November with below normal temperatures recorded throughout both months.

The weather has impacted not only humans, but their four-legged companions as well.

The below average temperatures prompted the Houlton Police Department to issue a statement on Dec. 4 from David Rairdon, the town’s animal control officer, to remind pet owners not to leave their animals outside any longer than necessary when it is cold.

“State law requires that all pets have plenty of food, water and the required shelter to protect them from extreme weather conditions,” Rairdon wrote in the statement.

“The shelter needs to be waterproof and have a minimum of three sides and a roof. A blanket is a good insulator and gives the animal something to curl up in,” he added.

The shelter also needs to be appropriate for the local area and the specific breed of animal.

“If you see that your animal is shivering or in distress, please bring your pet in immediately,” the animal control officer states.

Temperatures have been chillier than normal for this time for year, according to the National Weather Service Caribou office.

In November, temperatures averaged 3.5 to 5.5 degrees below normal. At Bangor, November 2018 finished as the second coldest behind November 1939, while also finishing as the fourth coldest in Houlton, the fifth coldest in Millinocket, and the ninth coldest at Caribou.

Residents also are reminded that they need to have their dog licensed by Dec. 31, 2018.

Anyone with questions in the Houlton area is asked to call Rairdon, and he will be available to make a welfare check. Folks with questions in other areas should contact their own local animal control officer.

Rairdon also said that owners of dogs who need a rabies vaccine can check with their local Tractor Supply store which has frequent rabies clinics.

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