A polar bear might love the arctic weather that’s hitting the Midwest.
But not household pets.
That’s why animal experts urge pet owners to exercise extra caution during the bitterly cold temperatures this week.
The National Weather Service is forecasting wind chill values expected to fall to 20 to 35 below zero Wednesday morning and 0 to 20 below Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
With such forecasts in mind, Fremont veterinarian Dr. Mark Pettit advises pet owners to let their animals outside just long enough to go to the bathroom and then to get them back into the house.
“Frostbite can set in on them just like it can on us,” Pettit said.
It can occur on the tip of a tail or the perimeter of the ears — and even on the footpads if the animal is out for a long period of time.
He added that frostbite won’t show up for several days after the fact.
“When it’s this cold, it’s just not worth taking the risk,” Pettit said.
Access to fresh water is important for outdoor dogs or cats (which have access to a warm place where they can get out of the elements, like a well-insulated dog house).
Whereas pet owners might put out water once a day, they now should do so two or three times — because water in a bowl is likely to freeze quickly.
Pettit notes that there aren’t as many outdoor dogs as there were 10 or 20 years ago.
He also cautioned that older animals — just like older people — are more susceptible to the elements than a young, healthy one.
When it comes to felines, cats may seek shelter under the hood of a car — and then can be injured or killed when the car is started. Some animal-related agencies recommend honking a horn before getting in the car, then giving the animal time to escape.
Pettit also suggests pounding on the hood of the vehicle.
“Especially, if the vehicle has been running and it’s nice and warm and they get in there and you go out there and start it up again,” he said.
Generally speaking, veterinary and animal advocacy groups list a variety winter safety tips for pets. Here are a few:
Keep pets at home.
Know your pet’s limits
Consider your pet’s breed, age and health
Consider a coat or sweater.
Give them a warm place to sleep.
Wipe their paws.
And remember — if it’s too cold outside for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet.
Area residents have gathered in Fremont to support and participate in the Relay For Life for many years.
As the annual event rounds into its 21st year, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Dodge County is hosting a free kick-off celebration to prepare for this year’s relay on June 8.
The kick-off event will be held on Feb. 4 on the third floor of Health Park Plaza at Methodist Fremont Health beginning at 6 p.m.
The program will highlight how the community has benefited from funds raised and also honor cancer survivors and caregivers. Guests will have the opportunity to register for a team for this year’s event.
“We want to regroup our teams and invite anyone new who would be interested in having a team or even to come that evening and find out what we do,” Diane Wilson, event-lead for Relay for Life of Dodge County, told the Tribune in 2018.
Last year, more than 300 people participated in the Relay For Life of Dodge County and raised almost $66,000.
The Relay For Life movement is the world’s largest fundraising event to fight every cancer in every community, with four million participants in 6,000 events worldwide in 2018.
The kick-off event will also serve as a platform to announce upcoming fundraising events that will be held throughout the year leading up to this year’s Relay For Life event, which is scheduled from 4-11 p.m. on June 8 on the campus of Midland University.
During the annual event, people gather to remember loved ones lost. Teams and individuals take turns walking or running around a track or path. Teams participate in fundraising in the months leading up to the event.
Wilson hopes people participate in the 2019 relay “to help us find a cure.”
“That’s the ultimate goal,” she said.
In meantime, they’re welcome to attend the kick-off.
“It’s a great way to get started on our mission for the year,” Wilson said.
For more information about the local event, contact Stephanie Stephenson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.relayforlife.org/dodgecone to learn more about Relay For Life.
This Super Bowl weekend, the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams will be competing for an NFL championship title.
At Keene Memorial Library, staff members will be competing for a different kind of glory: the title of best soup chef.
This year, the library is hosting its first-ever SOUP-er Bowl Party. Seven staff members have been assigned to making seven different kinds of soups, and the public is invited to stop by and try them.
Then, visitors can cast their votes for their favorites, and the soup with the most votes will win.
The chef will receive a golden ladle as a prize.
“We’ve never done this before, so I think we’re all kind of hoping that it’ll be fun for the patrons and for us alike — kind of a boost in morale,” said Elisa Cruz, circulation manager at the library in Fremont.
The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. It is free to attend, and there is no need to RSVP.
“I hope that it turns out well,” Cruz said. “I’ve got little sample-size cups and I hope that people come in and sample at least a few of the soups and then vote on which they think is the tastiest.”
The event is coming at an opportune time, Cruz argued — with the recent cold spell hitting the state, the Keene library is positioned to offer patrons some warm relief in the form of a hot bowl of soup.
“With this cold, it kind of fits just right,” Cruz said.
Outside of the soup sampling, it will be business as usual at the library on Saturday, with its weekly storytime session scheduled for the morning at its normal time. But guests coming in and out will be able to sample the soups for free and cast their vote.
“I think it’s just a beneficial thing,” Cruz said. “They don’t have to spend any money, there’s nothing required of them — other than we want a vote to see who makes the tastiest soup — so I think it’s good for the community and I think it’s good for our library.”