NORFOLK, Va. — As temperatures drop to extreme lows, local shelters are asking that people get out of the cold.

Union Mission is keeping their doors open for people that need to get out of the cold according to Lead Shelter Manager Donald Davis.

"We'll accept anyone all night long, just to get them in from the cold,” said Davis. Davis said the decision to come in, could mean life or death.

"Core temperature might go down, hypothermia, especially if they're asleep. Some folks don't 't wake up from that, it's that cold," said Davis. "Come on in, we'll take care of you through this cold weather.” 

People aren't the only ones who need help. 

Norfolk Animal Care Center Volunteer Manager, Laurelyn Flowers, said you have to prepare your pets for the temperature drop.

"We do see cases of hypothermia as well as frostbite here at the shelter. And that can be fatal to any kind of domesticated animal," explained Flowers. "Animals burn more energy when they're outside in this extreme temperature change so make sure they have a little extra food. If they're eating and drinking out of a metal bowl, their tongues can actually stick to it.” 

Flowers said that if your animal has to be outside, then you need to make a shelter for them that will resist the cold temperatures.

"They are susceptible and not necessarily going to be able to respond any better than you are," said Flowers. "They must have an outdoor shelter that's not facing the wind, keeping it above the ground, making sure they have fresh hay or cedar shavings, just making sure it's a tight enough space so that their body heat is going to help keep them warm."