MISSOULA, Mont. -

Cold weather can be a hardship on pets. Missoula Animal Control is getting more than a dozen phone calls a day requesting animal welfare checks.

By Tuesday afternoon, Animal Control had picked up three dogs because of the cold, and officials were in the process of obtaining a search warrant to pick up three more.

If there are complaints that pets aren't being properly cared for in cold weather, animal control officers will check it out, and try to work with the pet owner.

They advise owners to bring their furry friends inside. If they can't, make sure there's some kind of shelter. Straw is a good insulator. Extra food and lots of water are essential.

"If they aren't fed, they aren't watered and they don't have a place to get out of the weather," said Animal Control Supervisor Jeff Darrah, "they're going to go downhill fast."