A Donegal animal charity has appealed to people to leave their garage or shed door open this weekend as temperatures are set to plunge.
With sub-zero temperatures forecast for the weekend and beyond, Donegal charity Animals In Need is appealing to the public to offer emergency shelter to homeless animals.
A spokesperson from the organisation said “Every town and village in the county has stray and feral cats who are struggling to survive. Many have relied on businesses for their food, but with the lockdown closing so many places, their food source has vanished, leaving them starving and particularly vulnerable this year.
“For an already run down and hungry cat, freezing temperatures along with ice and possibly snow will be too much for them, particularly the weak or young ones, and they just won’t survive.”
Animals In Need (AIN) say that emergency shelters for stray and feral cats are cheap and easy to make.
Failing that, they are asking people to leave open their shed or garage which will at least provide shelter from the elements and if you can leave out some food and fresh water, this could be the difference between life and death for a homeless cat.
The AIN spokesperson added “To make an emergency cat shelter, all you need are Styrofoam boxes, glue, Clingfilm, a cutting implement and straw.
Fish-boxes are perfect for this and in the past, Fish Factories have been very generous in donating them, or you can get them from fishmongers or supermarkets.’
To make an emergency shelter in easy steps, the charity suggests the following.
1. Take two trays of a fish box and stick them together to make a box shape.
2. Cover the box with cling-film for waterproofing and to secure.
3. Cut a circle at the end, big enough to allow a cat to enter.
4. Fill with straw. Please don’t use blankets as these absorb moisture and can make the cat colder. Straw allows the air to circulate and stays dry and warm.
5. Place the shelter in a safe place and if it is outside, weigh it down with a stone/brick/rock so that it does not blow away.
6. The shelter can also be covered with a bin bag or plastic sheeting for additional waterproofing.
For further advice on providing shelter, please contact AIN’s cat helpline or message them through their Facebook page.
Animals In Need are also appealing for dog owners to bring their pets inside.
‘The rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t want to sleep out there yourself because it’s too cold, nor should your dog.’ AIN said.
‘Tragically, dogs do freeze to death in their own gardens or yards, there are reports of this happening every year, so please bring them inside where it’s warm.’
For further information on adoption, fostering, volunteering etc, please contact the main helpline on 087 1356188. For cat/kitten enquiries please call 087 7644420. Animals In Need Donegal is also on Facebook and has a website at http://www.animalsinneeddonegal.com.Tags: