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Michigan Animal Control Officers to Spend the Night in Freezing Dog Houses

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In an attempt to raise awareness and remind pet owners to bring their dogs inside during harsh winter weather, three Saginaw County, Michigan animal control officers will spend a winter night outside, with only dog houses for shelter.

“We’re their voice, we’re the ones that step up to the plate for them,” said Michigan’s Saginaw County Animal Control Officer Joaquin Guerrero.

In response to the dozens of calls they get every single day from concerned animal lovers reporting dogs left alone in subfreezing temperatures, three mid-Michigan animal control officers are putting themselves, literally, “in the dog house.”

On January 12, Guerrero and two other officers will brave the elements. From 6pm until 8am the following morning, the officers will sleep outdoors at Apple Mountain in Thomas Township.

Two of the officers will be camped out in dog houses custom made by prisoners at the Saginaw Correctional Facility to fit their sizes. The third will spend the night without a shelter. With only the clothes on their backs and a little bit of straw, the officers will brave the cold just as a dog would.

To further drive his point home, Officer Guerrero will be tethered in place by a chain to illustrate what it’s like for a dog that’s tied up and can’t escape to warmth and comfort.

“Lot of times when people become dog owners they think, ‘Oh they’re a dog, they can sustain, do whatever.’ But they’re not educated for the summer weather, the fall, the spring, the winter, and we run into these problems,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero’s personal goal is to make it through the night.

The officers will be Facebooking Live throughout the night, sharing their experience with as many people as possible.

Students from Hemmeter Elementary will be present overnight – sleeping inside where it’s warm, of course – to check the officer’s temperatures and record their thoughts and comfort levels for a class project. There will also be medical staff on hand to make sure the officers are safe.

“We’ve got to be that voice for them. We’ve got to help them so it doesn’t happen, so we don’t find these animals frozen. And that, we can’t save them all, but the ones we can save, or the awareness we can bring, that just keeps educating more people and more people,” Guerrero told KFOR.

Supporters in the area are welcomed and encouraged to visit the officers throughout the night and cheer them on.

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  1. Avatar Of Jo Hellen

    Jo Hellen


    This is great.
    It would be even better if the public was invited out to try it also.
    Should be MANDATORY for anyone who is caught with a dog outside in the winter.

  2. Avatar Of Kelly White

    kelly white


    where do i look for this on friday? i would like to see this live…

  3. Avatar Of Connie Knapp

    Connie Knapp


    This is extremely courageous of you to illustrate the plight of so many animals, both k-9 and feline. I agree, video of this event should be sent to all governmental entities to bring the realities of this abuse to light. It does not matter the breed of animal, they are all cold and helpless in these weather extreme. Thank you to those brave souls willing to put a fine point on these animal abuse issues.

  4. Avatar Of Kelly Kelly says:

    I’m very proud of my son Anthony, For participating in this Courageous Event,To help Remind people Who leave there pets outside in This cold weather ,Just how inhumane it is ! Please also remember in the Hot Summer Weather as Well !

  5. Avatar Of Linda Taffurelli

    Linda Taffurelli


    That is Very Brave!!! Thank you for being their Voice!!!
    I Hope you Send this tape of you All to All our Senators and the Governor!!! These are the People We Need to Show!!! These are the people who Can make a Difference and Do the Right thing and make this Subject a Law!!!!! Please Send to them All

  6. Avatar Of Elizabeth



    This is not relevant unless they wear heavy duty REAL fur coats. One size does NOT fit all with dogs. Many of the Northern breeds such as huskies, malamutes and Great pyrs LOVE cold weather.

    • Avatar Of Sandy Sandy says:

      Not unless they spend a lot of time in that kind of weather on a regular basis! I have a German Shepherd and she does not like to spend a lot of time in the snow… she does get cold!

  7. Avatar Of Donna



    Thank you for going to extremes and putting your health at risk to show people what they should already know. It’s common sense people!! Bless you officers!

  8. Avatar Of Donna Hope

    donna hope


    This should be mandatory for animal abusers. Where I live in the middle of the summer it is so hot it’s also unbearable even at night & the mosquitoes eat you alive!

  9. Avatar Of Jen



    As a volunteer at our animal control, I thank you for doing this. Thank you for being their voice. We need sticter laws and enforcement of laws to protect the innocent lives.

  10. Avatar Of Amanda Belles

    Amanda Belles


    Thank.you for doing this and I will be supporting you and this cause 100%

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