It's an issue that is sometimes overlooked when harsh winter weather blows in as it did last week.

It's the well being of pets.

"This weather is not good for man or beast," said Stacey Robertson, the chief animal control officer for Pottawattamie County.

Apparently, however, pet owners in the county and in Council Bluffs have taken care of their animals during the latest winter blast.

"We haven't had a lot of calls to collect stray animals, which is good," Robertson said. "People have pretty much kept them in."

Galen Barrett, the city's chief animal control officer, added, "I can't say we've seen anything more than usual. For the most part, the residents of Council Bluffs do a good job of taking care of their pets. Given the population, the residents do quite well."

Recently, Robertson said, a former volunteer at the county's animal shelter lost a beloved dog after it was outside for only an hour. Advancing age and other issues, and not just the weather, may have factored in the dog's death, he said.

Another dog was found lying along the side of a road between Council Bluffs and Crescent bleeding from the eyes and elsewhere after possibly being scooped up by a snowplow, he said. The dog was being treated at a veterinarian, he said.

It's possible, however, there might be some sad discoveries when the snow starts melting, especially those high drifts, according to Robertson.

Last year, two stray dogs were found dead in snow banks in the county, he said.

"They weren't deteriorated, they were still intact, just frozen," Robertson said.

Even though the forecast calls for warmer daytime weather, the evenings will still be chilly for a while, Barrett said. That means owners must continue to care for their pets.

A good, quality doghouse offers protection from the wind, he said. There should also be plenty of food and fresh water that is not frozen, Barrett said.