So far this winter, the Jamestown Police Department hasn't fielded any calls about pets in danger because of winter weather, said Becky Johnson, animal control officer for the JPD.

"Haven't had any calls on pets in the cold this year," she said. "We just haven't seen a lot of problems this winter."

That could change as the region is experiencing the first cold snap of the winter this week. The forecast continues with colder than normal temperatures for next week as well.

Dr. Dawn Entzminger, a veterinarian in Jamestown, said the conditions that would pose a danger to an animal vary with the breed and species of the animal.

"It all depends on the critter," she said. "Smaller, low to the ground dogs are more susceptible to cold and snow once it gets on their belly."

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The breed of the dog also makes a big difference.

"Huskies and breeds like that are built for the snow and cold," she said.

No matter how adapted the dog is to the cold weather, it needs a place to warm up and drinkable water. House dogs that go out for short periods of time can also have problems.

"If they are walking around holding up their toes, they likely have a problem," Entzminger said. "Wash off the feet when they come in to get any ice from between the toes or any accumulation of ice melt that wouldn't be good for them."

Monitor the dogs when they are outside especially in icy areas that can lead to falls and back problems, Entzminger said.

Frostbitten ears are the most common problem for cats who are out in the cold too long.

"The ears are an extremity with less blood flow," Entzminger said. "Even outdoor cats should have shelter and heat in the cold. Something to help keep them warm."

Pounding on the hood or sounding the horn before starting a vehicle is also important to drive out any outdoor cats that sought warmth from a recently running engine.

"Inside cats should just stay inside," Entzminger said.

Cats and dogs need extra feed during the cold for the extra calories to help them stay warm.

Leaving animals to suffer in the cold is not only inhumane but against the law in Jamestown.

A Jamestown ordinance says it is illegal to "endanger any animal," Johnson said. There are no specific temperatures or wind chills as to when the animal would be endangered.

"They need to have food, water and shelter," she said. "Use straw bedding because it doesn't retain moisture."

Johnson said taking care of pets through winter cold weather isn't difficult.

"It is pretty much just common sense," she said.