Fort Wayne Animal Control officers see increase in calls in freezing weather

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Animal Control Ride ALong_305634

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The cold weather is tough on everyone, including animals. NewsChannel 15 rode along with a Fort Wayne Animal Control Officer to see what kind of calls they’re getting.

“I just received a call of neglect down on Bluffton Road,” Officer Kyle Bachert said just seconds after leaving the Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control garage.

Believe it or not, animal control calls go down in the winter. But this winter is different.

On Thursday Officer Bachert alone went on 19 calls.

“I think the extreme cold temperatures have something to do with that,” Bachert said. “People are more concerned with the animals being left outside.”

That call on Bluffton Road the dogs were not outside, the conditions where they were could still get dangerous.

“The person that called in said there were two dogs living in the downstairs apartment without any heat,” Bachert said.

When Officer Bachert got there no one responded. Without the landlord giving him an eviction notice he cannot go into the apartment on this own and remove any animals. He put a notice on the door for an owner to call Animal Care and Control, and set an appointment for another officer to come back that night.

When he’s not responding to calls Officer Bachert patrols his jurisdiction on the south side of town. He showed us one dog living outside, but explained another officer talked to his owner to get the dog’s conditions outside in compliance with the city’s ordinance.

“The ordinance does say they have to access to an adequate dog house that isn’t just a wire kennel,” Bachert said. “It needs to be an actual dog house that can keep them warm and access to fresh water that can’t be frozen.”

Since December 1 officers have gone on 103 runs for animals being left outside. Most of the time officers can find an owner and remedy the situation.

“What we do find out a lot of the time is that they were just let out for five or ten minutes to use the restroom,” Bachert said.

On six of those runs, officers were able to remove the animals and take them to Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control.

“Anything with these single digit temperatures is going to give us an automatic grounds to remove the animal if we’re not able to make contact with an owner,” Bachert said.

If you’re making a shelter for your animal outside Bachert said to use straw instead of blankets. Blankets absorb moisture. You can pick straw up at Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control free of charge.

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