Local Shelter Makes Plea for Dog Houses

CREATED Jan 23, 2013

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Due to the severe weather, the Ingham County Animal Shelter has almost depleted their dog houses they rely on to dispense as part of their free dog house and straw program. ICAC dispenses free dog houses to pet owners who have no shelter for their dogs.

The shelter is seeking donations of dog houses for dogs that are kept outdoors throughout Ingham County. “Ideally we’re looking for the type of dog house that is portable and easy to lift and transport,” said project coordinator Katlyn Turner. “The shelter staff will be distributing the houses to pet owners who do not have the means to obtain a house for their outdoor dogs.”

Each year the department puts out a plea for more houses as each year the demand is greater than what is available. “This past month alone we’ve distributed dozens of dog houses to pet owners, who really needed them,” said Turner. “We’ve exhausted our supply of dog houses and we’re in our most crucial time of year. The need for houses and straw is critical.”

The shelter always urges that dogs be kept indoors during the extreme weather, but realizes this is not always practical for some dog owners.

“The bitter cold and numbing wetness of a Michigan 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 Turner. “These dog houses along with the donated straw for bedding are saving lives.” Freezing temperatures can quickly take a toll on any dog without proper shelter.

The Ingham County Animal Control Department is asking the public to be aware of animals at risk and their own pets when the temperature drops. ICAC Officials are urging residents to report outdoor pets who do not have shelter and protection from the elements. The State of Michigan requires outdoor dogs to have proper shelter.

According to Jamie McAloon Lampman, Director of Animal Control, “proper shelter means a shelter that will protect them from the snow and cold. A board leaning against a tree or an open carport is not sufficient shelter in winter. The shelter should be adequate enough to retain the dog's body heat.”

According to McAloon Lampman, having a shelter may not be enough to protect some dogs if they are old, thin or in poor physical condition. The best advice is bringing pets inside.

To donate a dog house to the shelter please call 517-676-8372 or drop it off at the shelter located at 600 Curtis Street in Mason, or go to the website at www.ac.ingham.org. All donations are tax deductible.