WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky (LEX 18)– Woodford County Animal Control Officers are already looking ahead to when we’re back in frigid temperatures.
Officers want to make sure animal owners are aware of a change in their ordinances for pets that are outside in the elements.
When the temperatures plummet, the number of calls to Woodford County Animal Control rise. This past winter, concerned residents kept officers busy with the welfare checks on animals, but they couldn’t always help when it was needed, because all the county ordinances said was that animals needed some sort of protection.
“We were running into issues with dogs being outside with just a tarp,” said Woodford County Animal Control Officer Elizabeth Cecil.
A couple months ago, the county passed an update to the ordinance that gets much more specific about what adequate shelter means.
Cats and dogs kept primarily outside must have a proper house that is weatherproof, has three solid walls and a solid floor, plus organic bedding inside. They must have water.
“We can’t leave these animals to their own devices. We have them, we own them, they expect us to take care of them. They’re like children,” said Cecil.
The ordinance covers horses and other livestock with the exception of cattle. The owner must provide shelter significant enough to protect the animal from weather conditions that may cause suffering.
“They can’t be in a dry lot or just an open pasture with no trees, no nothing,” said Cecil.
This update is to make sure all the animals in Woodford County are comfortable and safe.