Season’s first freeze predicted; BARL requests donations of straw

Published 10:57am Tuesday, November 12, 2013

With the season’s first freeze predicted tonight, the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League is reminding pet owners about the importance of keeping pets warm as the temperature drops.

Weather forecasters were predicting a hard freeze tonight for all but the state’s coastal counties.

The National Weather Service said an Arctic cold front and strong north winds will push southward through the course of today, with wind gusts as strong as 40 mph.

Temperatures could drop into the upper 20s before dawn Wednesday, which is cold enough to kill outdoor plants. Gulf Coast counties won’t see temperatures quite that low, but frost or a light freeze is still possible on the coast.

With freezing weather on the way, BARL reports it is in need of straw for the dog and puppy pens.

Pine straw was donated a while back, but it has all been used, according to a BARL press release. “Rain is on the way next week and we’ll need to replace it afterwards,” said the BARL release. “This is the only thing the puppies have in their kennels to keep warm.”

Anyone with straw available to donate is asked to please bring it to BARL. BARL is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., however, if you must come at another time, contact BARL at (601) 757-4367 or info@barl.net and arrangements can be made to meet you.

BARL also is accepting donations for its fundraiser booth at Vendor’s Emporium. Items can include home d├ęcor pieces, Christmas decorations, jewelry, etc. (no clothes)

The BARL booth is not very big, so items need to be fairly small. Donations can be dropped off at BARL’s Adoption Center or at Vendor’s Emporium. BARL offered a few cold weather tips to pet owners:

Bring your pets inside during extreme cold, especially puppies and older dogs. If you are unable to bring them in, make sure their doghouses are off the ground. The houses can be placed on a wood pallet or something similar.

Also, place pine straw in the doghouses for bedding. Pine straw is better than blankets because blankets can get wet with the dog going in and out of the doghouse. Do not face doghouses toward the north wind.

The following guidelines are provided by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.

Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.

Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train it inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take it outdoors only to relieve himself.

Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase its supply of food, particularly protein.

Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.

BARL is as a nonprofit, limited-admission animal welfare group. The volunteer-based organization serves Copiah, Franklin and Lincoln counties. BARL provides food, shelter and veterinary services for abandoned, orphaned and unwanted animals until they are adopted.

Many of BARL’s adoptable animals may be viewed online at www.barl.net.