Deep Freeze: Check on Neighbors and Make Sure They Have Heat, Says Police Chief

 01/03/2018 - 17:05

With the region in the grips of an icy freeze, the new Saline Chief of Police is asking residents to check on their neighbors.

“Look out for your friends and neighbors – especially older adults. Make sure they’re receiving heat in their homes. If not, call the Saline Police Department dispatch center (734-429-7911). We’ll get them to a warming center and make sure they get the resources they need,” said Chief Jerrod Hart.

Wednesday’s high was a relatively warm 16 degrees. Thursday the high is forecast to be eight degrees, with a low of -6. The deep freeze remains until Sunday, when temperatures are expected to rise to 28 degrees.

The National Weather Service has issued another wind chill advisory for the region. The advisory takes affect at 5 a.m. Thursday and lasts until 4 p.m., Thursday. Wind chill values of -10 to -20 are expected.

Such conditions can cause frostbite to unprotected skin.

In Saline, people can use the council chambers at City Hall, 100 N. Harris St., as a warming center. It’s open 24 hours a day, even days a week, if necessary.

The Saline Rec Center, 1866 Woodland Drive East, and Saline District Library, 555 N. Maple Road, are also designated as warming centers.


Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is owner of The Saline Post. Email him at or call him at 734-272-6294

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Janet Deaton's picture

Although people may think that dogs' fur coats are plenty, in this kind of extreme cold domesticated animals are as vulnerable as people. Please consider the following "Cold Weather Pet Tips" from the Michigan Humane Society and act accordingly. Thank you.

Tran Longmoore's picture

Good advice in there.

I was wondering though. How long is too long a walk for a dog in this weather, My dog, a medium sized beagle/hound mix, loves walks and I feel guilty turning around after 15 minutes and bringing her in.

Janet Deaton's picture

As you might already be thinking, there is a lot of variability among dogs. Different dogs have different cold tolerances. Some factors to consider are age, weight, fat stores, activity level, general health, and breed.

In practical terms, think of older dogs: They have a hard time regulating their body temperatures, making them more susceptible to harm with extended periods out of doors in this sort of weather.

Beyond that, there's no clear cut answer to this other than to watch your dog.

Look for these signs of cold:

  • Shivering
  • Holding up paws, or shifting from one paw to another
  • Whining
  • Slowing down or stops moving
  • Appears to be looking for places to burrow

If you don't see any of these signs within your fifteen minute walk, then you're doing okay. 

Additionally, you know within yourself when the outside temperature and/or wind "clicks" to the next level of "cold." Think about how you adapt what you wear — not just in terms of layers but also when you cover your face versus not, etc. In these cases, start out with a ten-minute walk, then take note of the above points in your dog; if all seems well, add five minutes and check again, etc., maxing out at whatever your non-severe-weather walk time is.

Any time the temperature dips below freezing, use extra caution.

Tran Longmoore's picture

Thanks Janet.

Good things to watch for.

Chief Hart's picture

You make an excellent point about our beloved pets during these frigid temperatures. Our  Labradoodle (Sadie) and Puggle (Emma) are not very interested in spending too much time outside lately. We will all be grateful when “normal” winter temperatures return as their paws tend to pack with snow making for very short walks. Please look out for each other and our neighborhood pets.  

Dell Deaton's picture

Tran, can you facilitate the addition of a photograph and short bio for Chief Hart here on his landing page at The Saline Post?

Mary Hess's picture

Janet ; Great idea for a go to , for information.  Thanks

Mary Hess's picture

Please remember when putting salt on your sidewalks, some animals will be walking on it , in their bare feet. We should check our dogs feet after a walk .

Janet Deaton's picture

You have raised a very important issue here, Mary. Thank you.

Here is some additional information that I hope will be helpful to others.

  • It's pretty easy for dogs to get into salt put on roads and sidewalks to melt snow and ice. Sometimes this is from walking on those surfaces or crossing streets, but it can also be from the snow piled next to walkways by those who clear the paths. When dogs go there to do their business, the salt will get into not just their paws, but also their under-parts.
  • Salt is toxic to dogs. When dogs lick this off of themselves because of their cleaning instinct, the salt can accumulate in their systems and make them very sick.
  • Salt on their paws will cause cracking of the pads on their feet.

Obviously you can't control what's on the ground everywhere your dog walks, and dogs have to go out even in the winter time not just for elimination but also for exercise and stimulation.

So here are some ways to deal with the salt issue.

  • Wash their feet and undersides immediately when they come in. Use only clear, luke-warm water. Then dry them off right away after with a towel.
  • Trim hair around your dogs' pads, which will prevent not just accumulations of salt but also help with ice balls.
  • Also consider applying petroleum jelly or "paw wax" to their pads to help protect them (in cold winter months and in hot summer months).