Police are checking on the welfare of two Oenoke Ridge Road dogs after they were found apparently suffering in subzero temperatures outside their owner’s home before dawn Monday.
At about 2:20 a.m., police responded to the area of Oenoke Ridge and West Roads on a report of dogs barking, according to Animal Control Officer Maryann Kleinschmitt.
Arriving, police heard barking and found two black Labrador retrievers—a one-year-old female and 10-year-old male—running loose on the property “and they appeared to be extremely cold and distressed,” Kleinschmitt said.
The officer tried for one hour to locate the owner, and then the dogs were brought to the Animal Control Shelter at Lakeview Avenue and kept there overnight.
Police continued trying to contact the animals’ owners, she said. Kleinschmitt said she was familiar with the family, knew them to be extremely responsible and loving owners and noted that they may well be away on vacation during this week of February break.
At about 9 a.m. Monday, a dog sitter showed up at police headquarters, saying he had arrived at the Oenoke Ridge Road home the prior night and could not locate the dogs. He paid the impound fee and took custody of the animals again, Kleinschmitt said.
She added that she would be checking up on the dogs at home to make sure that they are being cared for properly by the sitter, and intends to notify the animals’ owner about what transpired.
“They were out in subzero weather for at least two hours, probably longer,” Kleinschmitt said.
It isn’t clear how they got out, what the dog sitter tried to do to find them or why if he realized they had been missing since the prior night, he didn’t show up to police headquarters until the following morning. The dogs are OK and showed no serious physical trauma as a result of exposure to the cold, she said.