As the cold weather moves into Wharton County this week, and it’s forecast to be below freezing next week, we are reminded how simple responsibilities for us become tasks during winter weather. Cars and pets for example.

Vehicles are so important when the mercury dips. According to the AAA, warming up a vehicle is still as important today as it was in the latter part of the last century – especially with cars from the 1970s through the 1990s. Vehicles like a Ford LTD, Pontiac station wagon, a Dodge caravan have nothing on today’s cars. The AAA says it used to be normal to change the oil every 3,000 miles, but with modern lubricants most engines today have recommended oil change intervals of 5,000 to 7,500 miles.

The AAA says it’s still a good idea to warm up your vehicles before driving, especially in the winter months. “This ensures that lubricating oil gets to all of the engine’s vital parts. Driving the car normally and avoiding hard acceleration brings the engine to a warmer temperature faster, and also reduces wear and exhaust emissions,” AAA said.

Pets are the same today as they were even before the 1970s. They still have a beating heart. They too need to be warmed up and have their living quarters changed from outside to inside.

When speaking to Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Jared Cullar, he said he sees his share of animal cases – cruelty incidents to pet ownership. His case load is stacked for this month and March. We at the Journal-Spectator, and law enforcement and animal rights leaders implore you to take care of you pets during this cold snap. 

If you don’t, someone might call police and complain. You don’t want to explain to an officer why “Lucky” is outside tied up, or out of the fence walking around on city streets and roads.

You will then be explaining to a judge in April when it’s all warm what you didn’t do for your pet when it was cold in February.

Stay warm!

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