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Inside Out

They need our help in the cold

Jeanne Sager
Posted 1/18/22

It’s around this time of year that you tend to see reminders pop up telling you that pets should spend no more than a few minutes outside in the cold.

It’s good advice, and it’s …

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Inside Out

They need our help in the cold

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It’s around this time of year that you tend to see reminders pop up telling you that pets should spend no more than a few minutes outside in the cold.

It’s good advice, and it’s not just mine. The American Kennel Club recommends smaller dogs spend no more than 10 to 15 minutes out in the cold at a time and has varied recommendations for the bigger dogs, depending on breed. It stands to reason that a husky prepping for the Iditarod isn’t going to need to be brought inside at the same time as a short-haired coonhound.

But as winter really hits her stride, it bears mentioning that it isn’t just the pets we should be thinking about.

The organizations charged with the safety of hundreds of dogs and cats in these months could really use our help too.

This is the time of year when the calls about kittens near freezing and dogs shivering in the cold begin to mount up at our local rescues and shelters. It’s the time of year when the costs of keeping rescue animals safe and warm skyrocket with the price of heating oil.

The dog adoption frenzy that came with the early months of the pandemic, when so many Americans were home, has died down. And there are still cats, oh so many cats, many of whom can be trapped, and spayed or neutered, but may never really be able to live in a human home.

That kind of work isn’t the kind you see as much — it’s not warm or fuzzy, and there are no cute kitten photos to be passed around Facebook by friends. But it helps make communities healthier and prevents more cats from being born and ending up living on the streets themselves.

This time of year I already know that my animals are right where they should be — on my couch or settled on the living room floor chewing on a much-loved dog toy.

But I’ve made it a point to make donations to Callicoon’s Happy Kitty, the rescue responsible for making my family more complete. A cat they rescued as a small kitten already going through a miscarriage at 6 months because she was living in a hoarding situation, where cats were having kittens right and left, now sleeps in a warm bed every night — mine.

Theirs is an organization close to my heart, and perhaps there’s one close to yours.

Who helped make your family more complete with a cat or dog that’s found their “furever home” with you?

As you snuggle with that pet in the warmth of your home, consider what last winter would have been like for your four-legged friend if it hadn’t been for that rescue.

And if you can, send a donation. Give someone else’s future pet a chance.

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