Lost pets can deteriorate quickly in freezing conditions

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BISMARCK, N.D. - This German short haired pointer has had quite the adventure, but he's finally back where he belongs.

"I can't even explain that to you, the feeling of having Mocha home," says Blaine Clooten, Mocha's owner.

But this happy ending could've taken a sad twist.

"He's extremely skinny, he's lost a lot of weight, and a few more days with another cold snap hitting 40 below zero, I'm pretty confident Mocha would've been frozen to death," says Clooten.

Mocha ran away when a front door was left open for just a few seconds, and other pets could easily do the same.

Officers say to prevent missing pets, make sure snow isn't up to the top of the fence, where dogs can walk over. Don't let your dogs or cats roam or stay outside for too long. Frostbite can set in quickly.

"We've brought cats in that the tips of the ears are completely froze off. Their paws are frozen. Dogs are no different," says Missy Hilsendeger, Animal Control Warden.

Survival in these settings depend on the type of animal.

"Certainly a cat or a small dog or a short-haired dog is going to be in a lot more danger than a dog that has a big heavy coat, like a husky," says Mandy Schaaf, Central Dakota Humane Society.

If your fur baby does happen to get lost, call the impound.

"If you have your name, phone number on the animal, we can return your animal before we impound it," says Hilsendeger.

Then post on social media. That's one of the reasons why Mocha is now safe and sound.

"I'm truly convinced that if my daughter didn't create Mocha's Facebook page, then you wouldn't be looking at him today," says Clooten.

The Clooten's plan on turning the Facebook page into a rescue page for other animals.