Shivering Strays

Kaitlyn Burdine & Gabby Gonzales, Reporters

Roaming down the sidewalk covered in three inches of snow, a local stray is suffering in the bitterly cold weather that winter brings.

“Pets have a tough time when cold weather sets in, so knowing how to provide proper care for strays of any kind outside in winter’s frosty conditions is very important,” according to a post made by the New Albany/Floyd County Animal Shelter Facebook page.

Not only is the NAFC Animal Shelter aware of this predicament, animal advocates in NAHS are also aware of the difficulties strays experience during the winter.

“Winter would have to be the worst season for stray animals, for sure,” sophomore Alanna Reinstedler said. “It’s very cold for them and it is harder to find water due to it all being frozen. Food is also very limited as well, some even try to seek shelter in vehicles. Winter is deadly to the stray animals.”

She is a firm believer in providing the proper care for animals in every season, but winter takes the icing on the cake.

“Me and my family take in stray cats that we spot in our neighborhood,” Reinstedler said. “We keep them outside, but we have three big houses filled with lots of covers and stuff for them to stay warm. We give them water and food everyday. We are not the only ones taking care of the strays though, we have noticed that two other houses are taking care of stray cats too.”

Animal abuse in the winter can be just as bad as in the summer. Pets suffering in the hot days with barely any water can be replaced with the harsh chilly climate in the winter.

“I have absolutely seen animals being mistreated during the winter time,”  The animal care coordinator at the NAFC Animal Shelter, Theresa Stilger said. “For me, the hardest is when old dogs are out freezing or mothers that have either delivered puppies or are getting ready to deliver are in the cold temperature and snow.”

While animal lovers do their best to bring in strays around the county, there are also other ways to contribute to the shelter, according to Stilger.

“I would say that people should volunteer as well as help spread the word about the programs we offer and recommend people to us,” Stilger said. “Of course we always appreciate a good donation.”

The shelter’s donation process is simple. Donations can be accepted in cash and now PayPal, according to the New Albany Floyd County Animal Shelter official webpage. Any contribution is greatly appreciated by the shelter.

“The Floyd County Animal Rescue League is an organization that supports us everyday, whether it be financially or with volunteers,” Stilger said. “They’ve also sent in thousands of dollars. They would definitely be the biggest contributor. They donate around $30,000 yearly.”

There are many ways one can help the strays during the winter. From providing a safe house to simply turning them over to the shelter, anything one can contribute will be appreciated.