Weekend brings dangerous cold for people, pets alike

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The bitter cold is keeping animal control officers busy responding to calls of animals left out in the dangerous cold. (WPVI)

Action News was with ACCT Philly officers Sunday night as they made an all-too-common discovery.

A dog by the name of "Pinky" was found locked outside with no food or water.

"We're going to contact the SPCA about this dog in the yard. See what they can do," said Don Choi.

"I see it all the time. You'd be surprised how many people leave their dogs out in the cold," said Steven Morales.

That has the officers and PSPCA police working overtime responding to dozens of calls of pets left out in the dangerous cold.

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The chilling temperatures had people bundling up on Valentine's Day.

"We've been extremely busy. We're just going around the clock," said Officer Joshua Peterson, PSPCA.

In Center City, the homeless lined up waiting for Broad Street Ministry to open the doors to its overnight drop-in center. Hours are extended to give them a place to warm up.

"I've got layers of clothing on, but it's really not that pleasant because I have a little bit of frostbite," said Nick Sweeney.

The city has issued a Code Blue triggering outreach to the homeless. Efforts Sweeney says are making a difference.

"If it wasn't for people like the Project Home people coming up and picking people up and taking them to safe havens, there'd be a lot more people showing up at the morgue," said Sweeney.

As for Pinky, things are looking up. His owner surrendered him to animal control, meaning his cold pen is now a thing of the past.

To report a pet left outdoors in the cold contact the PSPCA at 1-866-601-SPCA or ACCT Philly at 267-385-3800 (press 1).

If you see someone who needs shelter, city officials say contact Project Home at 215-232-1984 or Philadelphia police.
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