To prepare for falling temperatures, we're hosting our annual Straw Drop. Free bags of straw are offered to anyone who owns or cares for outdoor animals – including feral and community cats.
While Animal Friends encourages pet owners to make pets part of the family and keep them inside the home, we recognize that this is not always possible. Animal Friends urges those caretakers to obey the law by ensuring that outdoor animals have access to proper food and warm, dry shelters. Blankets, towels and pillows can retain moisture and freeze, which is why straw is the best insulation against the cold and wet weather conditions.
In addition to keeping outdoor animals’ living spaces insulated, there are other best practices pet owners should abide by, including:
• Using a car mat or rug as a flap over a doghouse door to keep the inside free of wind, snow and rain.
• Examining shelters carefully – and often – to ensure that there are no cracks or holes that will prevent the structure from keeping the animal safe.
• Taking extra care to provide adequate amounts of drinkable water and food at all times during freezing temperatures.
• Inspecting your pet's paws, ears and tail frequently for signs of frostbite – a very common occurrence. If you suspect frostbite, your pet will need to see a veterinarian immediately.
• Monitoring your dog's tether to ensure it is not frozen to the ground or tangled. A tangled, too-short chain can cost your pet his or her life in bad weather.
Animal Friends is located at 562 Camp Horne Rd. in the North Hills – just a half of a mile west of Exit 8 off of Interstate 279.
Free bags of straw can be picked up at Animal Friends seven days a week. On a limited basis, straw delivery may be available for those without transportation.
For more information, call Animal Friends at 412.847.7000 or visit ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.