Animals In Need Donegal has issued an appeal to pet owners to bring their animals inside as temperatures plummet with the ‘Beast from the East’.
A spokesperson for the charity said ‘The rule of thumb is that if it’s too cold for you out there, it’s too cold for your pets and there has already been a report of a pet dog freezing to death during the night so don’t wait until it snows, by then it might be too late.’
The animal rescue charity is also asking people to help those animals who have no home, in particular the hundreds of feral and stray cats that live amongst us in every town and village in the county.
The spokesperson continued ‘Homeless cat shelters can be made easily and cheaply. Details on how to quickly construct a variety of shelter types can be found on our Facebook page or alternatively ring the helpline on 087 7644420 where a volunteer will be happy to offer advice.’
She said ‘A styrofoam box like those used for storing fish makes an excellent shelter. Place two boxes together, cut a hole for entrance and exit, fill with straw and then bind the two halves together with cling-film. Put the box in a sheltered area and weigh it down with bricks or rocks on the top of it and you have an insulated emergency cat shelter that’s ready to go.’
She added that simply by placing straw in a sheltered area of a shed can prove a lifesaver to a freezing cold cat.
Animals In Need have put together some handy hints on keeping your pets and community animals safe:
- Bring your pets inside.
- Provide emergency shelter for any homeless animals.
- The chemicals used in road gritting are highly toxic so always wash your pet’s paws if they have walked on treated surfaces.
- Keep antifreeze locked well away from any animals.
- Check your engine before you start it up – the warmth of an engine often attracts cats looking for somewhere to curl up and shelter.
- If we do end up having heavy snow, keep dogs on leads during walks as the unfamiliar landscape can make them disorientated and lose their bearings.
The spokesperson concluded ‘Please help any animal that you see struggling or in trouble. You could make all the difference to that animal’s survival.’