BLADE PHOTO LISA DUTTON Enlarge
Toledo firefighter Perry Snyder was at the scene of a house fire in the central city yesterday morning when he noticed a shivering dog on a porch next door.
Mr. Snyder, a dog lover, was concerned for the large, short-haired puppy that was left outside in the extreme cold.
"If you have a pet this time of year with no bedding, no water, no food source, and no way of getting out of the cold, that's pretty tough," he said.
Mr. Snyder, who was part of a backup crew at the blaze at 124 Roff St., was unsure how long the dog had been in the cold.
But after the dog began eating snow, Mr. Snyder found a container from the home on fire, cleaned it out, and filled it with water for the puppy.
"We run into a lot of pets on this job," Mr. Snyder said. "I kind of walked over and gained his friendship and talked to him a little bit."
Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon said one of his deputies picked up the dog and took it to the pound, where it is doing fine. He said the dog appeared to be part bull mastiff.
The animal's owner, who was unknown yesterday, has until 4 p.m. Wednesday to claim the dog. After that, it will be put up for adoption,
Mr. Skeldon said.
"It's a nice dog so we should have no trouble adopting it," he said.
Mr. Skeldon said the dog warden's office gets several calls this time of year from people concerned about animals being out in the cold weather.
Experts said the bitter temperatures can be threatening for animals - just as they are for humans.
And the weather will continue to be an issue in coming days.
Temperatures that in some cases have broken records - including a low of 47 below zero - have been reported this week from the Midwest to the northeast.
In the Toledo area, today's high is expected to be no more than 5 degrees, though with winds whipping between 13 and 17 mph it will feel like it's minus 27 degrees outside at times, the National Weather Service said.
Tonight's low is expected to be about minus 5 degrees.
With winds calming to 11 mph or less, the wind chill will actually warm up a tad but not enough to make much of a difference. Tonight's wind chill is expected to be minus 22 degrees, the weather service said.
The weather agency also is calling for a 70 percent chance of snow tomorrow, mostly in the afternoon.
Tomorrow's high is expected to be near 17, but wind chills will remain at a dangerously low minus 24 degrees with gusts between 13 and 17 mph.
More snow is likely Sunday, though the temperature could climb to 24 degrees.
In such conditions, Mr. Skeldon said there are several breeds of dogs that are especially vulnerable in cold temperatures including greyhounds, Dobermans, boxers, Boston terriers, and Chihuahuas.
"This kind of weather is tough on dogs that aren't used to being out in it," he added.
Those breeds shouldn't go outside without a sweater or a coat except for short times to relieve themselves.
Firefighters are unsure of the cause of the fire at Roff, near Tunnell Street, which started about 8 a.m.
Crews arrived to heavy smoke coming from the kitchen and porch areas, said Fire Lt. David Rodriguez.
Two women inside were awakened by the smell of smoke and escaped unhurt.
Firefighters fought the fire defensively after learning there were oxygen tanks inside, the lieutenant said.
A damage estimate was not available yesterday.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.