Animal Care & Control is offering free straw to any Allen County resident in need of animal bedding during these cold days of winter. Pet owners are urged to continually monitor the needs of pets whenever the animals are outdoors. The straw is being offered through private donation to be used for bedding and to keep the ground surrounding a doghouse mud free.

Visit Animal Care & Control located at 3020 Hillegas Road during general business hours Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and until 7:00 p.m. Wednesdays.

The shelter offers these additional winter pet care tips –
• An animal that spends time outside must have access to a proper shelter specifically designed for an animal. The shelter must be free of leaks to wind, snow, and rain. Face the opening of the shelter to the east or south away from prevailing winds or fasten a heavy door flap to the top of the doorframe.

• Locate the animal’s home to a warmer location in the sun.

• Create a snug inner room by making a removable partition inside the doghouse in back of the door opening.

• Use straw or cedar chips for bedding. Towels, blankets and hay are insufficient because cloth draws moisture and hay will mold.

• Insulate the animal’s house and raise it several inches above the ground with concrete blocks to prevent snow from drifting inside. Frame the elevated area with boards or sand bags to prevent winds from gusting under the animal’s house.

• Animals living inside an unheated garage must have a shelter inside the garage.

• Animals need extra food to help generate enough body heat to stay warm and must have unfrozen water to drink at all times. A heated water bucket is a great investment.

• All dogs and cats living within the city must wear the required city pet registration tag on a properly fitted leather or nylon collar.

• Keep all cats inside. Those who spend time outside can experience frostbite, or become lost or injured.

• Bring dogs inside during extreme cold spells. Animals are very susceptible to frostbite and can quickly die of hypothermia if left outside unsupervised. Puppies and senior dogs do not tolerate the cold, so make walks and playtime short.

• Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach following cold weather walks. Dogs can easily ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking their paws. Check paws for cuts caused by snow or encrusted ice.

• Never hesitate to call the shelter regardless of the day or time to report an animal in need of help within the city. Call 260-427-1244.

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Since August, changes in the Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control city ordinance have allowed us to place 265 cats back into the community thru coalition efforts between the Allen County SPCA, H.O.P.E. for Animals and Animal Care & Control. In the past, the only option for these free roaming cats was euthanasia due to their lack of sociability, adoption was not an option. We are so excited to have this program successfully off the ground and want to inform citizens so more lives can be saved. There are many options available to citizens that find free-roaming cats (cats with no identification of any kind). If you would like to take personal responsibility for the cat on your property you may now bring the cat directly to H.O.P.E. for Animals where the cat will be spayed or neutered, three year rabies vaccinated, ear tipped and microchipped for $35. Another option for you is to transport the cat to Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, you MUST include a valid address where the cat was found. You must also let us know if you would like to have the cat returned to the location where you found it. If so, the cat will be assessed for its health and well-being. If the cat is deemed healthy it will become a community cat. Once in the program we will transport it to H.O.P.E. where the cat will be spayed or neutered, ear tipped, microchipped to its “found” address, and three year rabies vaccinated. The Allen County SPCA will then pick up the cat at H.O.P.E and return it to its location. This entire process is funded by grant dollars – no tax money supports this program. If you are in need of a trap, you may pick one up and rent it for one week for free at any one of the coalition locations: H.O.P.E. for Animals at 1333 Maycrest Drive, Allen County SPCA at 4914 Hanna Street or Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control at 3020 Hillegas Road in Fort Wayne.

The City Ordinance does allow for citizens concerned about nuisance behaviors to contact us at 260-427-1244 to report your concern. If you are looking for humane deterrents and ways to keep free roaming cats from destructive behaviors you can call The Community Cat Helpline at 260-440-8893 and a representative from H.O.P.E. for Animals will return your call. Hundreds of lives have already been saved thru the Community Cat Program and we are optimistic that we will save hundreds more before the year’s end. If you are looking for information on how you can get involved in the Community Cat Program please visit our website at and search “community cats”. We are very fortunate to live in a community that cares so much for animals in need and to have three amazing organizations working together to save more lives!

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Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control is a nationally recognized shelter for homeless pets. Our kind staff and generous Volunteers are on-hand every day of the week to be sure the animals that arrive here are humanely cared for. At Animal Care & Control we pride ourselves on going above and beyond for the animals entrusted to us. We provide them with warm beds to sleep on, toys for them to play with and mental stimulation so their stay, which averages 3-5 days, will be more enjoyable as they await their forever families. Our shelter relies heavily on donations from members of our community to help us provide medical care for those animals in need. We provide both preventative (such as heartworm and flea treatment) and lifesaving care for many animals prior to being placed in our adoption program. We also rely on donations for enrichment items such as peanut butter, dog treats/biscuits or bones, canned food both cat and dog as well as new and gently used toys, all of which provide additional comfort for the animals. We encourage citizens who may be interested in helping to check our website at for a complete “Wish List.” This list includes a variety of comfort items for the animals as well as areas of monetary need. We are so fortunate to live in such an amazing, forward thinking community that values the lives of homeless pets. We hope that when you consider adding a new member to your family that you think of Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control. Simply put, adoption saves lives.

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Does your dog’s ability to escape from your yard have you frustrated and worried that he may get hurt or cause damages that you will be liable for? To prevent escapes, you’ll need to find out how your dog is getting out of the yard and why he’s so determined to run off. Dogs often escape because they are left alone for long periods of time and need an outlet for their excess energy. Your dog’s escape may lead him to interactions with other people or dogs and fun things to sniff. Keep in mind that an unaltered dog will be motivated to escape, so supervise their outside time until your dog has been spayed or neutered.

Some dogs jump fences, but most actually climb them. A dog may also dig under the fence, chew through the fence or learn to open a gate. Knowing how your dog gets out will help you to modify your yard and secure your gates.

To decrease your dog’s motivation for running off, keep your dog inside when you’re unable to supervise him and when you are away from home. Walk your dog daily. It’s good exercise, both mentally and physically. A tired dog is less likely to go searching for entertainment. Rotate your dog’s toys to make them seem new and interesting. Contact a trainer for advice or attend Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control’s free Pet Parenting class for help in solving your dog’s escaping behavior. Call 260-414-3507 to enroll in an upcoming class or email

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Animal waste left in public areas and in neighborhood yards is a familiar complaint called into our Animal Care & Control department. As much as neighbors might enjoy seeing your dog, they do not enjoy seeing what he leaves behind. Now that warmer temperatures are here, dogs will be spending more time outside and enjoying walks in city parks. As a reminder, sanitation law requires citizens to remove animal waste immediately from public lands and from the property of another. Citizens must also maintain their own animal areas in a sanitary manner regularly and as often as necessary to prevent odor, or health and sanitation problems.

When sharing common areas, be considerate of where you take your dog to eliminate. Although it is not a legal requirement to remove animal urine, allowing a dog to eliminate in public areas where children play is unsanitary. If you encounter an on-going problem concerning sanitation, report the concern to Animal Care & Control at 427-1244. If at all possible, a timely photograph has been known to result in a $50 citation to the animal’s owner.

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Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control is urging dog owners to be proactive in keeping young puppies and adult dogs vaccinated against the highly contagious and deadly disease of parvovirus. Unvaccinated puppies that are 6 to 20 weeks of age are at the highest risk, but make no mistake; parvovirus can affect dogs of all ages.

The virus is spread by:
• direct dog-to-dog contact
• contact with contaminated dog feces
• contaminated environments
• people who have handled infectious objects or animals
• people who have walked through contaminated ground

The virus may be carried on a dog’s hair and feet, as well as on contaminated dog care items, a person’s shoes or clothing, and other objects. When a healthy dog licks the fecal material off their hair, feet, or anything that came in contact with infected feces, the dog acquires the disease.

Unlike other viruses, parvovirus is stable in the environment and is resistant to heat, detergents and alcohol. It can remain infectious for at least one year in the soil to continue infecting other dogs. If you’ve had an infected dog in your home or yard, do not bring home another dog or puppy until talking with your veterinarian.

If you see any change in the health or behavior of your dog, call your veterinarian right away. Warning signs can include a lack of appetite, depressed behavior, fever, severe vomiting and diarrhea.

Parvovirus is deadly, so take action to vaccinate your adult dogs on time each year, and be sure that your puppy receives more than one vaccination over a period of weeks.

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With the holidays fast approaching, we encourage families to set aside a few moments on Wednesday, December 11th to visit the city’s Animal Care & Control Holiday Open House for the Animals. Shelter staff and volunteers will guide tours throughout the building and provide a fun children’s area plus holiday cookies. It’s a great opportunity to meet the staff, learn about volunteer opportunities and meet the animals. Gifts of canned food designated for puppies and kittens or adult dogs and cats are greatly appreciated. Year-end donations to the shelter’s medical fund are also needed. Continue reading

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The Fort Wayne Fire Department is reminding you to keep safety in mind as holiday meals are being prepared. It can be easy to get wrapped up in entertaining guests, but it is important to monitor meal preparation closely.

Home cooking fires are three times more likely to occur on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year. With most cooking fires starting because cooking has been left unattended, the Fort Wayne Fire Department urges you to stay in the kitchen or other food cooking areas (e.g., outside for deep fryer, grill), and follow these safety tips during meal preparation.
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The Fort Wayne Police Department offers the following Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating on Halloween:

Candy Safety:
• Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
• Trick-or-treaters should eat a snack before heading out, so they won’t be tempted to nibble on treats that haven’t been inspected.
• Tell children not to accept—or eat—anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
• Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.
• Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers.
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Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control is appealing for members of the public to donate any unwanted blankets, towels or bath mats, so they can provide them to cats and dogs for warm bedding. According to spokesperson Peggy Bender, “The blankets and towels we have do get dirty quickly and need to be washed frequently. In time the bedding begins to fall apart. Donations are greatly needed at this time.”
Blankets are a source of warmth and comfort to dogs and cats, especially the new arrivals. To make No Sew Fleece cat beds, visit the shelter website at , Wish List, for a pattern and instructions. Donations can be dropped off at the shelter located at 3020 Hillegas Road.
Contributed by Peggy Bender, Community Relations and Education Specialist, Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control

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