Craig briefs: Take care of animals outside in cold temps | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig briefs: Take care of animals outside in cold temps

According to a news release, every year PETA receives thousands of complaints about people who leave dogs outside in the cold. Although they are equipped with fur coats, dogs and other animals still can suffer from frostbite and exposure, and they can become dehydrated when water sources freeze. Cold weather spells extra hardship for "backyard dogs," who often go without adequate food, water, shelter, or veterinary care, and it also can pose challenges for wildlife.

■ Keep animals indoors. This is absolutely critical when it comes to puppies and kittens, elderly animals, small animals, and dogs with short hair. Short-haired animals also will benefit from a warm sweater or a coat on walks.

■ Don't allow your cat or dog to roam outdoors. During winter, cats sometimes climb under the hoods of cars to be near warm engines and are badly injured or killed when the car is started.

■ Wipe off your dogs' or cats' legs, feet, and stomachs after they come in from the snow. Salt and other chemicals can make your animals sick if they ingest them. You also should increase animals' food rations during the winter because they burn more calories in an effort to stay warm.

■ Keep an eye out for stray animals. Take unidentified animals indoors until you can find their guardians or take them to an animal shelter. If strays are skittish or otherwise unapproachable, provide food and water and call your local humane society for assistance in trapping them and getting them indoors.

■ If you see animals left outside without shelter from the elements, notify authorities.

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Expanding last year's Change Your Peak Time campaign, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol, I-70 Coalition and other partners are working together to improve safety and mobility for everyone who uses I-70 to enjoy quality time in the mountains, according to a press release.

The new Change Your Peak Drive campaign encourages motorists to change not only the time they drive, but also how they drive. From understanding chain laws to knowing the Move It law and making sure minor accidents don't block I-70, CDOT and CSP want to give drivers all the information and tools they need to keep the weekend mountain commute safe and efficient.

Throughout the winter, CSP will be increasing chain law enforcement for truckers, as well as passenger vehicles. Many Coloradans may not know that Colorado's Chain Laws also apply to passenger vehicles, but when conditions get bad enough, a passenger vehicle chain law can come into effect. CDOT and CSP will alert motorists about an active Chain Law through roadside signage, but motorists always should be prepared by keeping traction devices like chains or alternative traction devices in their trunk.

Sponsor an American flag with Craig Rotary

Craig Rotary is selling sponsorships for its American flag program. Each contribution sponsors a flag that will be placed along Victory Way and Yampa Avenue for patriotic holidays through the year. As the number of sponsorships grows, so does the number of flags. Sponsorship costs $75 per flag. To sponsor a flag, call Bob Johnson at 970-846-3647 or Randy Morton at 970-620-1326.