My neighbor leaves his dog out in the cold. Q&A w/Bonnie Hays

My neighbor leaves his dog out in the cold. Q&A w/Bonnie Hays

It is very cold, and my neighbor leaves their dog outside all the time. I’m concerned about the dog’s welfare. What can I do?

You can always call us at 503-846-7041 if you believe an animal is not being properly cared for and one of our officers will follow up. It is against the law to deprive animals of food, water or shelter, but we do not have the authority to make people let their pets live inside or give them sweaters. Some dogs have thicker coats that naturally gives them more protection and sometimes, what seems like an outside dog can actually be a dog with a dog door who prefers to spend most of their time outside. We take animal abuse and neglect very seriously, but also need to investigate thoroughly and determine the facts before taking action, if necessary, to uphold the law.

I keep hearing that Oregon is overdue for a massive earthquake, and of course there are other disaster possibilities like fires and storms. What will happen to my cat if I must evacuate?

It is excellent to think about these things, even if it is initially scary or unpleasant. In general, the best option is that you take your cat with you when you evacuate. Have a carrier and a pet emergency kit made up and ready to go in case you ever need to leave quickly. This is the safest and best option and is preferable to leaving your pet behind. Animal Services will assist emergency operations and law enforcement as needed, but it is important for pet owners to be prepared. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pet. Visit ready.gov/pets for tips on building a kit.

Each month, you will have the chance to have your questions answered by the animal shelter. Email your questions to Jennifer_Keene@co.washington.or.us and we will try to answer as many as possible.

For more information on these topics and more, please visit www.WashingtonCountyPets.com. The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located at 1901 SE 24th Ave in Hillsboro.