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ATLANTA (AP) -- Few people across the country have been spared the pain of this week's jarring, brutal cold snap.

Freezing and sub-freezing temperatures have paralyzed air, ground - and in some cases rail traffic. Many roads are closed, schools have been shut down by the hundreds and businesses have suffered. Not even the more climatically moderate South has been untouched by the cold.

Atlanta on Tuesday saw its fountains freeze over and a 200-foot Ferris wheel was brought to a standstill.

One measure of the severity of the winter weather is the range of cancellations. They've included thousands of airline and even professional hockey games. The NHL postponed Tuesday night's game in Buffalo between the Sabres and the Carolina Hurricanes because of a snowstorm in western New York. Heavy winds and blinding snow have forced the closure of most major roadways in the area.

Veterinary association offers tips on protecting pets during winter weather

The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association is offering tips for pet owners to protect their dogs and cats during severe winter weather.

It says the recent low temperatures and dangerous wind chills pose challenges for pet owners. They say the most sensible action is to keep cats indoors and to monitor dogs for signs they're being negatively affected by the cold. It says a dog that appears to be having trouble walking or breathing should be brought inside.

Alexis Newman is president of the association. Newman says "if it's too cold for you to be outside comfortably, then the same holds true for your dog."

The groups says dog owners also should rinse their pet's paws after returning from outside to clean them of salt or ice melting products that can be harmful.

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