With temperatures dipping down into the low 20's, McKamey Animal Center is receiving more requests for dog houses and straw then what is available.
Admissions Supervisor Rebecca Ross said, “Our Animal Service Officers are delivering dog houses all over the city and filling them with straw as fast as they can. We ran out last week and looks like we’re about to run out again.”
MAC is seeking donations of medium to large portable dog houses to help pet owners who need assistance during the cold temperatures.
MAC provides dog houses and straw for dog owners who are unable to keep their dogs indoors but lack an adequate shelter to protect them from the Tennessee weather. Ideally, McKamey officials prefer dogs be kept indoors during the cold weather but realize this is not always an option for dog owners who maintain dogs outdoors despite the cold weather. In this case MAC wants to ensure that those animals have what they need to protect them from the elements.
“The bitter cold and numbing wetness of winter can create life threatening conditions for those animals kept outdoors, especially when the animal is without the proper shelter or body condition--hypothermia rapidly sets in,” said Executive Director Jamie McAloon. “These dog houses, along with the donated straw, are saving lives. Freezing temperatures quickly take a toll on dogs without proper shelter. These dog houses and straw prevent animal suffering.”
Continuous tethering can cause severe physical damage such as cracked and bleeding paws, frostbite and hypothermia. Tethered and dogs in kennels also need to have clean water and plenty of food provided while outside. Dogs burn more calories trying to keep warm.
MAC Field Services is asking the public to take special precautions when leaving their pets outdoors when temperatures drop. Officials are urging residents to report outdoor pets who do not have proper shelter and protection from the elements. The State of Tennessee requires outdoor dogs have proper shelter. The shelter has to be adequate enough to retain the dogs’ body heat.
The MAC Pet Food Bank and Dog House Program is a year round service for the pet owners of Chattanooga who need assistance on a temporary basis. According to McKamey staff the food bank is often low on supplies due to the demand. According to Director of Field Services Tiffany Newcomb, “In 2017 we distributed over 14,000 pounds of pet food and supplies to residents of Chattanooga. There is such a need for this program that we’re always running on empty.” Families who are struggling to feed their pets can receive free food through this program that is funded solely through donations.
To donate pet food, a dog house or straw to the shelter, citizens can bring their donations to 4500 North Access road in Chattanooga or call 423 305-6506 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information you can go to their website at www.mckameyanimalcenter.org
. All donations are tax deductible. If you see a case of animal cruelty you are asked to report it to local police or if in the City of Chattanooga, report it to McKamey Animal Center at 423 305-6500. Officers are on duty 24/7 for emergencies.