City, county animal shelters continue to battle frigid weather

By NICOLE SMITH, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 1/3/18

The City of Jasper Animal Shelter and Walker County Humane and Adoption Center both report the animals in their care are faring well, despite frigid temperatures.

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City, county animal shelters continue to battle frigid weather

Posted

The City of Jasper Animal Shelter and Walker County Humane and Adoption Center both report the animals in their care are faring well, despite frigid temperatures.

According to the National Weather Service, Walker County remains under a hard freeze warning through Thursday morning. Temperatures will fall into the teens each night.

A volunteer with the city animal shelter, who wished to remain anonymous Tuesday, said they are at full capacity indoors and some of their dogs are having to stay outside at night. All of the outdoor dogs are provided a dog house and blankets, and a recent donation of wooden pallets from Hagar Oil Company helped the shelter raise the dog houses off the ground to keep the canines warmer.

Tarps have also been placed around many of the outdoor cages to block bitter cold winds, and heat lamps are used to keep the dogs warm.

Many community members have donated blankets to the shelter, but the volunteer said they can always use additional blankets, as wear and tear happens quickly with playful dogs.

“Anything they can do to help the animals is really appreciated, and we’re very thankful,” the volunteer said.

Jeff Lockhart, the manager of the county animal shelter, said Tuesday that many of their animals are indoors in a temperature controlled environment, but some of their dogs do remain outdoors. Lockhart said they rely on wood shavings and blankets to keep the dogs warm, and would greatly appreciate donations of those items.

Lockhart suggested that pet owners who do keep their pets outdoors should provide an adequate shelter and food, and their water should be monitored and replaced due to freezing.

Heat lamps may also be purchased from hardware stores to keep animals comfortable, and sweaters should be used on dogs with short hair, particularly.

For animals that are homeless and not in a shelter’s care, many animal rescues around the country have suggested making styrofoam shelters for feral cats and other small, stray animals to keep them warm during cold temperatures. A hole can be cut in a styrofoam cooler for the animals to go inside, and the cooler should be elevated off the ground and weighed down with wood or bricks. Hay, wood shavings or a blanket can be placed inside for warmth.

Between both the city and county animal shelters, nearly 200 animals are in their care combined.

Donations to keep the animals warm and comfortable may be taken to the city shelter at 2302 Birmingham Avenue in Jasper, or the county shelter at 23470 Highway 78 W. near the Walker County Landfill.